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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Asylum seeker sews up eyes
Shahin Portofeh
Shahin Portofeh's application for asylum has been turned down
An Iranian asylum seeker has sewn up his eyes, ears and mouth in protest at his imminent deportation from Britain.

Shahin Portofeh, 23, has been living in the Hillfields area of Coventry for a year.

His application for asylum has been turned down and his appeals have failed.

Mr Portofeh sewed up parts of his face on Monday and is lying on a bed in the house dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and socks.

'Deeply regrettable'

A letter setting out his case against his deportation is on a bedside table.

His friend Massoud Abdalian said it was too dangerous for Mr Portofeh to return to his country.

"He has some papers from the court in Iran that says he will be executed," he said.

"It will be horrible if he goes back."

Although the immigration authorities are likely to seek his removal, it is understood that no date has been set.

A Home Office spokesman said his actions were "deeply regrettable" and would have "no bearing" on his case.

Last May, an Iranian Kurdish man living in Nottingham - Abas Amini, 33 - made the same protest but also went on hunger strike.

He had been granted asylum two months previously but his protest was triggered by a Home Office decision to appeal.

Stitches removed from asylum protester
30 May 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Asylum protest 'regrettable'
29 May 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Protest as refugee sews eyes up
28 May 03  |  Nottinghamshire

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