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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 19:32 GMT
Afghan student's A-level reprieve
Amin Buratee at his release
Amin Buratee said he felt "fantastic" about being released
An 18-year-old Whitstable student from Afghanistan who was threatened with deportation months before sitting his A-levels has been given a reprieve.

The decision to allow Amin Buratee to stay in the country for his exams came after Canterbury High School classmates staged a protest in Canterbury.

Amin, whose father, uncle and brother were killed by the Taleban, was released from detention on Wednesday.

He told the BBC: "I'm so glad that I'm here... I feel happy."

"It was really frightening, because I didn't know what was going to happen," he told BBC South East Today after being released from a facility in Dover.

He said he wanted to say thanks to all the people who had supported him, and felt "fantastic" about being allowed to stay to finish exams.

To be frank I think the least the British could do is for him to finish his A-levels
MP Julian Brazier

His friend Jade Beaney, who had helped organise the campaign to keep Amin, said: "I can't believe it, it is absolutely brilliant, it is the best news I've heard forever."

Amin's friend Essa Jamai, also from Afghanistan, denied Home Office statements the country, which recently held elections, was now safe.

"Our president, he himself has got about 18 American bodyguards... it is not safe in Afghanistan."


Amin came to the UK two years ago after the death of family members.

His deportation case was taken up by local Tory MP Julian Brazier, who had lobbied Home Secretary David Blunkett and Immigration Minister Des Browne to allow Amin to stay.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "I was very pleased when the minister told me over the phone this afternoon.

"By any standard he's a genuine asylum seeker... he arrived here when he was 16 and to be frank I think the least the British could do is for him to finish his A-levels," he said.

Amin Buratee and his friends
Amin's classmates had helped publicise his case

Amin will be expected to return to Afghanistan after his exams are finished, but if he feels he is still in danger of persecution, he can apply for his case to be reviewed.

Students demonstrated on Wednesday with placards and banners, some with slogans such as "We are his family", before learning of his release at 1500 GMT.

The protesters enlisted the help of the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral.

At the same time as the protest, eight other pupils took part in a sponsored run from Whitstable to Canterbury to raise funds for Amin.

They finished in the Buttermarket, by the cathedral gates, where the demonstration was held.


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