"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."
My name is Dilawer, I’m 29 and I’m from Iran.
I was targeted not only because of my ethnicity – my people have historically called for independence - but also because I’m an environmental activist. Because of these two things, I was detained and tortured.
I came to the UK to escape a regime that makes life hell for people like me. But first, I had to make my claim at the asylum interview.
I was under lots of stress. I couldn’t sleep the night before.
I was even prepared to talk about what happened in Iran… To talk about the torture and the things that happened in prison there.
I have this ear injury from being tortured, and because of that, I normally speak loudly. During the interview, the officer kept on stopping me and telling me, “Please speak quieter!”
I didn’t tell the officer that I was speaking loudly because of my hearing because I didn’t feel like I could. I was so desperate to get the interview over and done with that I just said I was fine.
The interpreter didn’t speak the same dialect as me. There were lots of times that we didn’t understand each other. But again, I didn’t want to complain. I just wanted to get it over and done with.
At the end of the interview, I was pleading with them: “I have more things to say.” That was after 4 hours of questioning, but they didn’t want to listen.
I don’t know why I got refused. The Home Office didn’t believe me.
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.
After my interview, I was really upset. It was the way they questioned me.
It reminded me of being interrogated at home. The only difference here is that I wasn’t blindfolded.- Dilawer
When I was refused, they took my accommodation. I was homeless for about a year. I was suicidal I was under so much stress.
The whole time the Home Office has been so nasty. I’m so angry, the past few years has really emotionally affected me. I still have therapy at Freedom from Torture and I’m really grateful for those services.
In Iran, they torture me physically and psychologically, but here it’s like psychological torture. They torture me here, but in a different way.- Dilawer
Here are three things you can do take action and support people like Dilawer.