Abdul Hassan: Thousands rally around devastated Stoke Newington teenager who faces deportation to Bangladesh
PUBLISHED: 14:31 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 10 April 2017
Heartbroken teenagers in Stoke Newington are campaigning to stop their former schoolmate being deported back to his birthplace in Bangladesh.
Thousands of people have signed a petition set up by friends of bright 18-year-old Abdul Hassan, who was set to begin a career with KPMG when his application for leave to remain was denied.
Abdul, who lives just off Church Street in Bouverie Road, has called Hackney home since he was five years old.
“The support from the community and friends has been amazing,” he told the Gazette. “To have grown up and been educated in Hackney since the age of five and then not be granted indefinite leave to remain has been devastating.
“All my friends and family are right here in the UK as well my future with KPMG, which could be jeopardised.
“I have nothing in Bangladesh.”
Abdul moved here in 2004 to live with an aunt. Back home, his father was ill and his mother was suffering with schizophrenia.
"The support from the community and friends has been amazing with thousands of people signing the petition. To have grown up and been educated in Hackney since the age of five and then not be granted indefinite leave to remain has been devastating for me and my family."
Both parents hoped to be reunited with Abdul when their health improved, but after his father died and his mother’s mental health deteriorated the move to Hackney was made permanent.
At 16, he did not automatically receive a National Insurance number, and he had no ID or travel documents to work legally or travel abroad.
Abdul’s application for leave to remain was rejected in February 2016, meaning he will be banished to Bangladesh unless an appeal in June is successful.
The rejection has drawn outrage from friends and members of the community, with close friend Hector O’Shea’s petition presently sitting pretty with more than 17,000 signatures to its name.
Hector said: “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Abdul for seven years as a close friend and strong fellow student. “He is one of the hardest working people and his care for others is second to none. His dedication to his friends and work is only outdone by his glowing presence and I look up to his warmth and enthusiasm.
“The UK would be losing a great person and valuable worker. He has the chance to work for one of the biggest companies on the planet.
"Please let this young man live the only life he knows which is in the UK. Yes he doesn’t have the necessary paperwork and he’s honest about it. I believe it’s not his fault that he finds himself in this situation, he was only a child at the time. Please allow Abdul to permanently live in the UK close to people he knows"
“Not many are able to reach such heights and I think it would be a disgrace if Abdul weren’t able to reach this goal. He is as much part of British society and culture as I am.
“I don’t have a word to say against him and I’m sure no one else would.”
Abdul’s determination to succeed has been made even more impressive by the fact his “leave to remain” application was rejected months ahead of his A-level exams.
In August Abdul let his peers congratulate him on his results – one A and two Bs – without revealing his future hung by a thread.
Over the years Abdul has lost contact with his mother and sister in Bangladesh, but has found an extended family in the Clissold Road school.
Headteacher Annie Gammon said: “Abdul was a hardworking student who made a great contribution to our school.
“I hope he will be able to stay in the UK to continue adding to our society and developing himself. Our school community has really pulled together to support this campaign.”
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Abdul Hassan’s visitor visa expired in 2004.
“In 2016 he applied for leave to remain on the grounds of his residency in the UK, but this was refused because it did not meet the rules and because he has close family ties to Bangladesh.”
To view the petition click here.