I came here to save my life. By sending me to Rwanda, the UK threatens it again | The secret asylum seeker

We’re to be offshored next week – I can’t tell you how desperate it makes me. We can’t believe a great country treats us this way

I am an asylum seeker from Iran. I have been given a notice from the Home Office that I will be one of those flown to Rwanda on 14 June.

I don’t know how you would feel about that prospect. For my part, I am considering suicide to avoid being forcibly sent there. And I can tell you that most of the other asylum seekers who are in the same situation as me are also considering suicide. We feel there is no other choice for us. The Home Office has locked us all up in detention centres; everyone is feeling very bad.

This is not what we ever expected of Britain. We all fled our home countries for one reason only – because our lives were in danger. We hoped that coming to the UK would save us but it looks like we were wrong about this.

I felt I had to try. I had a senior, responsible job in my home country. But I opposed the government, and doing this put my life in danger.

I escaped from Iran 14 months ago and crossed the border to Turkey on foot. From Turkey I took a boat to Italy and then I travelled to northern France. I paid smugglers for my journey and it was the smugglers who selected the UK for me to come to. I was happy with this choice as I had heard that the UK respects human rights and I believed I had a good chance to save my life here.

I crossed the Channel in a dinghy organised by the smugglers and when I arrived on 14 May I was taken to a detention centre in Bedfordshire for processing. From there I was brought to the detention centre I’m in now.

I did not know anything about the Rwanda offshoring plans when I arrived in the UK. I was shocked when I found out. I still can’t believe it. I’m not an economic migrant, I’m a refugee and I’m just here to save my life. It is hard to believe that the UK wants to send us to a country that we have no connection with and does not respect human rights.

The conditions in the detention centre are very bad. I am not getting the correct medical treatment for the heart condition I have. A nurse in the centre visited me and just gave me paracetamol.

Believe me, I didn’t want any of this. If I could guarantee my safety in Iran I would not have travelled to the UK the way I did. But nobody can guarantee that safety for me, especially now.

I hoped for safety, a show of humanity. What I have instead is a letter from the Home Office, a terse, cold text that promises further trauma, further danger. That can’t be what Britain really wants for me, what it wants for itself.

• In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 800-273-8255 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counselor. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org

  • Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 300 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Secret asylum seeker

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