Seeking asylum in Wakefield

Karim describes the trauma of being detained in the UK and the helplessness he felt adjusting to life in a new country.

Duration 03:17


This clip has been interpreted by a BSL signer. Watch the video below.


Image of Wakefield from Sandal by Tim Green.


I would say the process is, it’s very difficult. Even in my journey, of the asylum process, two times I attempt to commit suicide because, when I was in London – as you know I don’t have anyone in this country, particularly I don’t know anyone in this country and I arrived in the airport with less than £100, so that’s all I had at that moment.

So I had no idea where I would live, what I would eat or nothing, even I had very little about the... about everything in this country. How to get on bus, how to manage a ticket and what to do and like, everything was like, I was like a new born baby for everything. So I was very disappointed, very low mood, and anxiety was y’know like – there was anxiety… depression of course. So it made me to decide that it’s better to carry out this life – not to carry out this life, rather let’s just end up this life, so I made my life to commit suicide. I do remember I um… I was about, I was – I made a plan that I will jump in the train line in um – what’s the name of the station? … Umm, it’s in East London, it’s a train station, Central Line… so I was about to jump and then so suddenly I remember I saw a signpost like ‘never give up’, like this kind of thing, which just gave me a second thought, let’s wait and see how long I can fight for my life, so yeah I stopped that day. I didn’t do anything bad that day.

And again, again when I was in a shared house in Wakefield – so Home Office, they turned me down. They accepted my sexuality, they accepted my threat and fear at the persecution [or prosecution?] in our country, but they didn’t accept that this will be threshold for my life, so they said they want me that I can return to my country, and that I can relocate in another year, so it makes me really sad and I felt like that, I fought – I fought for a long time and the result is zero. So it makes me so sad and I, again I decided to commit suicide. I also, y’know, I also swallowed some sleeping pill, and yes still I’m alive, and anyway so I made my mind to fight for my life and finally, yeah, finally I got it. So, and I believe we shouldn’t give up. Life is beautiful [laughs].