He is one of hundreds of refugees living in Croydon hotels
ByTara O’Connor Local Democracy Reporter
- 13:48, 29 NOV 2021
An asylum seeker stuck in a Croydon hotel has said it’s ‘hard to survive’ as he doesn’t know when his family will be able to leave.
The 32-year-old came to England from Pakistan with his pregnant wife, 28, in search of a better life.ADVERTISING
The man, who asked not to be named, arrived in London in October on a student visa where he claimed asylum on arrival at the airport.
As an Ahmadiyya Muslim, he is part of a religious minority that faces persecution in Pakistan.
He is one of hundreds of people living at hotels in Croydon where rooms can be shared with strangers.
Asylum seekers are also entitled to three meals a day and £8 a week while they wait for their claim to be processed.
The 32-year-old said: “One of the things [about the process] is there is no proper communication from Home Office to the accommodation provider at all.
“No one knows what is happening with their claim. I’ve never been told how long I will be here, they said they can’t give us any time line.”
Another concern among the refugees in hotels is the spread of Covid.
The asylum seeker said: “My wife is pregnant and for food and everything we have to go out of our room.
“I know there were two cases of Covid who were moved, so I worry about my wife being pregnant. We try not to go outside the room.
“It is really hard to survive in this environment but I am focusing on my kid.”
Back home he was a finance manager and his wife worked as a teacher, but he says she was pushed out of the job due to her religious beliefs.
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He said: “Life was hell, we were afraid that anything could happen, even getting education there is very difficult.
“We are the main target we are not allowed to call ourselves Muslim, they can kill you because of their interpretation of the religious teachings.”
Now he has made it England, he is hopeful for a safer future for his unborn child.
He said: “I know it would be a really, really difficult part of my life, we are looking forward to a good part. At least I am not afraid to die.
“I’m hoping that my kid won’t have that fear I had when I was going to school and college, I was always afraid.”
He wants to stay in London to be close to the Baitul Futuh Ahmadiyya Mosque in Morden, which is the one of the largest in Western Europe.https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mylondon.news%2Fnews%2Fsouth-london-news%2Fasylum-seeker-stuck-croydon-hotel-22307550&cre=center&cip=25&view=web
“This is a place I know I will be accepted,” he added.
If the couple’s asylum claim is successful, he has hopes of pursuing a PHD in finance and working in the sector alongside this.