The Iranian bicycle owner who requested asylum and doesn’t wish to find yourself in a 'floating jail' | EUROtoday

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Mohammad Ganjkhanlou He arrived within the British Islands together with his 4 gold medals, two silver and 6 bronze medals, which accredited him as the most effective under-23 bicycle owner in Asia. He was one of many stars of the Iran crew within the biking world championship which can be held in the summertime of 2023 in Glasgow. At the top of the competitors, “and due to the circumstances in my country”, he determined to request political asylum within the United Kingdom.

He was quickly assigned a resort in Reading, and there he was fortunate sufficient to get hooked on the pelotn from the native biking membership, to coach often with them and even to put on the jersey of the crew in races. In simply 9 months, and regardless of lacking his spouse and his associates, Ganjkhanlou feels welcomed due to the borderless brotherhood of two wheels…

“He Reading Cycling Club It's like my family now. This is my city now, I feel really good here. “When I wish to practice, I do know very nicely the place to go, and discover the quiet and secure roads.”

About a month ago, Mohammad Ganjkhanlou – who has turned 26 – received an unexpected notification from the Department of the Interior. His temporary stay at the hotel, where he awaited news about his asylum claim, was about to end. His next destination would be the barge Bibby Stockolmanchored in Portland and known as the floating jail for immigrants…

“If I find yourself going there, mentally I received't have the ability to bear it. All I’ve is my bicycle, my outdated belongings are left behind. I haven't seen my spouse and household in 9 months. My complete life has been a motorcycle since I used to be 10 years outdated. When I practice, my thoughts calms down. “It's what keeps me positive and happy.”

Cycling, he says, has saved him afloat. Go as much as Bibby Stockolm It could be for him “like being in a prison.” He received't even have the ability to convey the bike on board, he has been advised. I must depart her chained within the port. And he can be compelled to say goodbye to his adoptive household in Reading, 100 miles away.

“He needs to ride with the pack, it's in his nature,” warns Michael Gray, secretary of Reading Cycling Club. “He is another member of our community, he wears our shirt, we take him to the races… If they take him to the Bibby, all the help we have given him will go overboard. “They will destroy not simply an athlete, however an individual.”

The NGO Care4Calais has adopted his case. Mohammad Ganjkhanlou did not exactly arrive in a boat crossing the English Channelbut it has also suffered the rigors of the hostile environment towards immigrants: from the threat of deportations to Rwanda to the semi-confinements on the barge enabled for half a thousand occupants (which had to be evicted days after its opening due to an outbreak of legionella).

“Mohammad's psychological well being can be at critical danger if he’s despatched to stay at Bibby Stockolm,” warns Care4Calais volunteer Emma Clark. “For an elite bicycle owner like him, not having the ability to practice or compete in races together with his native membership can have unimaginable penalties.”

Ms de 67,000 immigrants pending asylum application They are temporarily staying in around 400 hotels in the UK, with Afghanistan and Iran topping the list. The British Government planned to enable several barges such as the Bibby Stockolm to save costs and act as a deterrent, but local resistance prevented its deployment. “Locking up survivors of torture and traumatic experiences within the closest factor to a floating prisin is totally unacceptable and utterly inhumane,” warns Care4Calais CEO Steve Smith.