The UK’s asylum system should identify those in need of protection and ensure they're able to rebuild their lives in safety. Too often, though, people seeking asylum are disbelieved and dismissed by the very system set up to help them.
The people featured on this microsite – created in 2020 – were tortured for their sexuality, speaking out against corruption, or simply being of a different ethnicity. Forced to flee, they came to the UK seeking sanctuary. All were rejected by the Home Office after their asylum interview.
It was six months until I heard anything from the interview. When I saw the refusal letter, I could see plainly that my whole story wasn’t on there.
"They can’t know anything about what’s happening in Iran if they think it’s okay for me to go back. I got rejected and I still don’t understand why."
"The Home Office is there to discredit you, to push you to an extent where you will make a lot of mistakes."
"They didn’t give me time to explain my story - to explain that I had been tortured."
"The news of the decision combined with how I was feeling after everything I’d already been through made me sick."
The interview lasted around 5 hours. I was incredibly tired and, even with an interpreter, I didn’t understand all the questions. I was only offered one break.