"They didn’t give me time to explain my story - to explain that I had been tortured."

My name’s Ahmad, I’m 34 and I’m from the Middle East. I was tortured in my home country because I blew the whistle on corruption in my government. They wanted to silence me.

I escaped to the UK to save my life in the hope that, one day, I might be able to live without fear of being tortured again. I wanted freedom.

I needed to make my case to the Home Office at my asylum interview. I needed to tell them what had happened to me before I could be safe. But the interpreter they gave me was terrible.

At one point, I told them about a horrific massacre, but the translator was having to search for the appropriate word on Google to tell the interviewer. It was so stressful.

- Ahmad

When I heard the interpreter mistranslating my words, I would try to speak for myself but the interviewer kept on telling me to answer in Arabic for the translator. They silenced me.

Worse yet – they didn’t give me time to explain that I had been tortured.

I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Why won’t you give me time to explain my story?’

What happens to any asylum seeker is a major part of their story, but they try and avoid this part.

I was in agony when I was waiting for my decision. It’s a matter of life and death, and my anxiety was out of control. I was having nightmares, stressing about what I was going to do if the decision was negative. I would think, ‘how could I get them to understand the truth?’

In the end, my application was denied. When I saw what the Home Office thought my story was, it was completely wrong. The interpreter had mistranslated my story. I was heartbroken.

- Ahmad

I’ve tried to move forward with my life after receiving this decision while I wait for my appeal.

I’ve been determined to try and rebuild my life. I completed a masters and I’m starting a new course soon so that I can become a pharmacist [when I receive my decision].