'WE CAN'T SURVIVE WITHOUT HELP'
EXCLUSIVE: ASYLUM SEEKER ATTACKS HOME OFFICE TREATMENT AS GLASGOW CHARITY LAUNCHES CRISIS AID DRIVE
I have seen people in my situation become drug dealers. Is this what the Government wants? More drug dealers?
COMING through the doors of Glasgow’s Positive Action in Housing is 26-year-old Kourosh Pezeshki, who fled from Iran when he was a child.
Pezeshki comes to receive crisis aid as an asylumseeker, who is unable to work under government policy.
He said: “I came to the UK because of the regime of Iran, it makes everybody run away. We had a tough and horrible life, I can say.
“The people here are warm, welcoming and friendly. But when it comes to the system, unfortunately you find the horrible people.”
Pezeshki has now been destitute for over 16 years waiting for his asylum. His case has been rejected three times and on two occasions, he waited more than three years for his results.
Due not having a home address and a lack of communication between Pezeshki’s social workers, support workers and lawyers, he tells me that he missed a court case regarding his asylum in 2012.
“Ten days after the court date, I eventually received the paperwork that showed the dates of my trial.
“The judge decided without me, but I never knew. Everybody blamed each other, my solicitor blamed my social worker, my social worker blamed my solicitor. At the end of the day, I had to pay and I didn’t have any money.”
In 2013, Pezeshki was told he could no longer study English, maths and IT at entry level. It was from here where he began to see his life spiral out of control.
He said: “I eventually started studying, but when David Cameron came into parliament and refused refugees’ study fees, I could no longer study.
“Everything went down one by one as I started getting older – as you get older your support decreases less and less.”
He has spent the last six years starting over and moving on and found himself moving from Essex to Glasgow.
He lives on a government support allowance of £37.75 a week.
When I asked him how he budgets on this amount, he tells me: “You cannot survive on this amount, so you need to get help.
“First you try your friends and ask them for help, then you see that still isn’t working because you’re not making any money.
“Churches have always been helpful, though.”
Finding himself in desperate situations, Pezeshki added: “We are forced to work illegally, in jobs that pay far less than the minimum wage.
“I have seen people in my situation become drug dealers. Is this what the Government wants? More drug dealers? More prisoners?”
In August, Pezeshki’s situation worsened when his housing support was removed from him.
He was forced to sleep in a tent by the roadside for three weeks, where his physical and mental health deteriorated.
Pezeshki said that he felt so hopeless he self-harmed and even attempted suicide.
He used the aid provided from Positive Action in Housing to add mobile data to his phone to speak with his mother, who is still currently in Iran.
Pezeshki hopes that one day he can become comfortable and earn himself a decent living.
“If I could work, my life quality would improve.
“I could study again or earn some money to make me comfortable. I don’t want to rely on charities for necessities, but I have no other choice.”
In his last asylum application, the Home Office advised that he returns home to Iraq. Pezeshki is from Iran.