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Asylum seeker, 18, who speaks little English is forced to defend himself in court
A teenage asylum seeker who spoke little English was denied legal representation (File picture: Getty)

An 18-year-old asylum seeker who didn’t speak English was forced to defend himself at an immigration tribunal.

The young man fears that his life is in danger if he is returned to Egypt having arrived in the UK under three years ago.

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As his English was limited, he had to wait for a translator to become available so he could understand the proceedings.

He came with two support workers from his local authority to Hatton Cross, one of Britain’s busiest immigration tribunal centres, reports Buzzfeed News.

They had been given just two weeks to prepare for the hearing appealing his refusal of asylum.

Asylum seeker, 18, who speaks little English is forced to defend himself in court
Hatton Cross is one of 22 immigration courts across the country (Picture: Google)

Unaccompanied child asylum-seekers are allowed to remain the UK but this expires on their 18th birthday.

Because the young man says he could be distracted by others in court, the judge rules that his case had to be heard in private.

This meant his two support workers were not able to come with him into the court room.

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It is currently unknown if his application for asylum was successful, as decisions can take up to three weeks.

Hatton Cross is one of 22 courts across the UK where decisions by the Home Office about immigration and detention can first be appealed.

However, anyone who is awarded a public lawyer must pass a merits test and their case must be deemed to have a success rate of at least 50%.

Britain is the only country in the EU without a time limit on immigration detention, a fact which the Bar Council says the Home Office uses for ‘administrative convenience’.

More: UK


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