Sunday, 19 May 2013


Friends of Abdul at the rally in Victoria Park. Photo by Ambrose Musiyiwa, publishing as Civic Leicester (used with permission)
At Victoria Park this morning, for an open-air protest against the impending deportation to Afghanistan of Abdul Ghafar Rajabali. The rally, organised by Abdul's friends in Leicester City of Sanctuary, takes place on the five-a-side pitches, where Abdul would turn out on a Sunday morning for FC Kolektivo Victoria. His team mates are here supporting it too.

One of his friends places a call to Abdul in IRC Morton Hall, where he's been held, so that he might hear some of our support for him this morning. She's shocked to hear that Abduk has already been removed from the detention centre and is on his way to Gatwick, where he'll be put into a holding area to await his flight to Afghanistan. He's not scheduled to leave till after midnight on Wednesday 22nd. This doesn't mean that all is lost; his friends will keep working for his release till the last possible moment.

A film crew from ITV records the event today. A report was broadcast this afternoon and can be seen on YouTube.

I should say that I'm here in a personal capacity, rather than representing Leicester Council of Faiths. However I'm here, I'm glad to be able to give whatever support I can.

For more information about the ongoing campaign to keep Abdul in the UK and to see what you can do to help, even at this late stage, visit the Facebook page.

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