Sunday, 13 October 2013

Bristol asylum seeker Esam takes the message to immigration minister Mark Harper on Sunday Politics West - BBC1 West today at 11:15am

Esam marching with many others for Dignity not Destitution in June.
I went with Dr Naomi Millner, chair of Bristol Hospitality Network to BBC Bristol to meet the immigration minister Mark Harper for the TV programme Sunday Politics West. (Watch here)

I told him that I am not an illegal person, I am a human being like you. I am an asylum seeker, my life is at risk, that is why I am here.

I hope he understood that I claimed asylum for my safety. I know my story is true, but his system didn't believe me and it has made me destitute. I can’t return to my country because it is too risky for me.

I asked him if he can imagine having £5 a day for food and everything, as this is the support he gives asylum seekers and I don’t even get that at the moment. I am lucky that I have friends helping me. Others are not so lucky, they are living outside or in bus shelters.

While me and Naomi didn't get a long time to speak, I hope we passed the message about asylum seekers being destitute and living a suffering life to Mark Harper and people like him. I hope he understands that asylum seekers are seeking a safe place in UK. Please watch the BBC programme on Sunday and tell your friends and leave your comments here.

You can watch the show at 11:15am on BBC One in the West only or watch online afterwards here.