A Sheffield asylum seeker who fled Iran to pursue her dream of singing says she will kill herself and donate her organs if she is forced to return home.
Parisa Borhan, aged 40, was thrown in jail twice for singing, and was warned that if she was caught again, she would be killed.
She is now being helped by the Learn For Life Centre on London Road – while she anxiously awaits an answer on her fate from the Home Office.
She said: “I came to the UK because in my country I am not allowed to sing.
“Singing is my dream, but they threw me in jail twice for singing.
“After the second time, they made me sign something which means that if they catch me singing again, they have the right to kill me.
“If they make me go back, I’ll kill myself. I’m sure about that. They are going to kill me immediately, so I will kill myself and donate my organs.”
Parisa, of Ecclesall Road, came to the UK in September 2014 after fleeing from Iran to Istanbul and paying $40,000 to fly from Istanbul.
The asylum seeker has diabetes and has been diagnosed with depression, but is hopeful she can successfully claim asylum in the UK and pursue her life-long dream.
She said: “I will not stop singing.
“In Iran, women are not allowed to sing. They only want women at home cooking and being a mother.
“So I came to the UK to pursue my dream.
“I am depressed, because the Home Office don’t believe me.
“I’m more depressed now. I feel really sad.
“Without a decision from the Home Office, I can only stay at home, I cannot go anywhere, I cannot travel and I cannot sing.
“I came to this country for freedom. Why don’t they believe me?”
Parisa said her doctor wrote to the government, explaining her health conditions, but it has not helped her cause.
“They didn’t even believe the doctor.
“I didn’t come here for a house or money. I came here for my freedom.”
“I want to tell people of England, be thankful to God that you have a good government. I want to tell the Queen that I’m so happy that the English are free.
“Even if you are not rich, at least you are free.”
Fellow asylum seeker Mohammed Riadh Abbas Al-Dallal, aged 64, fled from Iraq to the UK with his wife Sundus and daughter Mariam, after militia attacked their home.
Mohammed had been working as a cultural attaché in Poland, but was shot on two separate occasions by militia.
He said: “The militia try to kill scientists, teachers and doctors in Iraq. They want to kill intelligent people.
“The first attack was in 2007, the second was in 2013.
“I returned to Iraq from Poland and that’s when I was shot again.”
The asylum seeker, who lives in Wincobank, has had heart surgery and suffers from coronary heart disease.
He is worried that he will be forced to return to Iraq after having his bid for asylum rejected several times. He is now in the process of launching a judicial review.
He added: “My little girl has settled here, she is happy and she doesn’t want to go anywhere else. When we discuss leaving, she begins to cry.”
Mohammed said the UK government questioned why he could not stay in Poland - and he told them that he and his family have been subject to race attacks there.
On one occasion, a man attacked his wife in public shouting ‘Bin Laden, Bin Laden’ at her and tried to pull her headscarf off.
He added: “My daughter was three years old when we were there. But she couldn’t even play with other children because of her skin colour.
“It’s very difficult for us to be in Poland. I just want to be able to stay.”