Protesters show support for Sheffield asylum seeker

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Protesters gathered outside Sheffield’s Home office to show their support for an asylum seeker who could be killed if he is sent back in his own country.

Local trade unionists, socialists and asylum rights campaigners staged a solidarity protest at the Home Office in Sheffield in support of a 22-year-old South Yorkshire man threatened with deportation.

Janahan Sivanathan

Janahan Sivanathan

Supporters say that Janahan Sivanathan, a Sri Lankan Tamil who lives in Stainforth, Doncaster, was “horrendously tortured” as a school student during the war in Sri Lanka, after he was rounded up and held captive for ten days in 2009.

Janahan was detained twice by the home office Home Office and could be again despite his case being due to be heard in court on 15 July.

Campaigners are demanding that Janahan be allowed to stay in the country.

Janahan said: “I have to relive it all the time. I would rather they kill me here than send me back. They are sending me to my death. I have no future because I have no money. I have a friend helping me, he has also been through what I’ve been through and is trying to help but I always feel like a burden. I want to help people like me. People are still getting killed.”

There was a genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka in 2009 with 100,000 killed or missing, amongst them was Janahan’s sister. His parents are still in Sri Lanka and paid for him to be sent to the UK.

Janahan is receiving psychiatric treatment by Medical Justice and is a campaigner for Tamil Solidarity.

Protest organiser Alistair Tice said: “Janahan has lived in Stainforth in Doncaster for four years. He hardly leaves the house. He has no money from the government and lives with a friend who helps him out. He is reliving the nightmare of a genocide. He has had bouts of suicidal tendencies and self-harming. Because of the high profile of this case he will be immediately arrested if he goes back and who knows what will happen after that.”