Masoud Zahir an active member of Asylestafetten 2013 Sweden arrived in Kabul today 21st August 2013. Masoud Zahir had lived in Sweden for 7 years; but due to the tough asylum policy of the EU countries; especially Scandinavia, he could not succeed to get a stay in Sweden and he was two times rejected. That is why finally he had decided to return back to Afghanistan. any body who is put in such a condition where he can’t work, can’t study, can’t live freely or it will be fair to say can’t breath freely will choose to return. Unfortunately European countries including UK take and waste many years before they process an asylum case; which sometimes end up in suicide attempts, mental depression and other self harms by the asylum seekers.
I got a chance to meet him in an old hotel room in one of the restaurants in Kabul. He ofcourse was sad from within after passing seven precious years of his life in Sweden and now returning back to a country where insurgency, mistrust on the government is getting higher and higher day by day. Number of suicide attacks at the start of 2013 was a record in Kabul and yet it is nothing better. Meanwhile he was charming and glad; maybe that was because of the result of the march they had organized from Malmo to Stockholm. I was a bit surprised to see him in that hotel room despite all the deportees having a chance of staying in the refugee receiving center. All those who are deported or come back voluntarily have the opportunity to live in the guest house for 14 days. they also get some financial help from IOM once they are back.
But maybe Masoud was unaware of all that, and he had ended up in this small hotel room with high costs and expanses of Kabul. I told him what i knew about the rules and possibilities he has got here in Kabul. hopefully that would help him .
I was following Asylestafetten very closely and had heard of Masoud being an active member of the March. According to Masoud they March started in 14 July and ended on 17 August. there were 300 people at the start of the March, and then it kept on changing during the March. He was really glad about the outcome of the March as more people who did not even know about the asylum seekers and their problems; got to know them.
Masoud was happy to talk about the outcome of the March as when they had started they were only few people. but when they kept on going. more people and organizations started to join them in their cause. that is how things kept on getting easier for them as they kept on getting more near to their goal. Ofcourse their goal was to aware people about their condition. and let the people and world know deporting people back to war torn country is dangerous.
Asylestafetten and the members has done a great job. this can be pioneer in the anti deportations campaigns and another groups around the world can start organizing such kind of Campaigns and March. but we have to have in mind that involvement of media and social media in such campaigns are essential. One of the reasons asylestafetten was successful was because of the media coverage and activism of the member on social Media.