THE Home Office is facing questions after an Afghan asylum seeker – who claimed to be just 16 – was said to have taken his own life over being denied refugee status.  

Amir Safi fled Afghanistan and died early last month. He was said to have given his age as being 16 but his interim death certificate – seen by The National – shows his age as 23. It also said that the precise cause of Safi’s death was “yet to be ascertained”.   

Shukrullah Ludin, the founder of Labour Friends of Afghanistan who has said he has been in touch with Safi's mother and cousin, claimed Safi took his own life after the Home Office rejected his application for asylum in Britain. He is said to have arrived in Britain around five months ago.  

Ludin urged the department to justify how it determined the age Safi gave was not correct.

He said: “The question is why have their failed their duty of care, compelling this young person to take his life and secondly, why did they disbelieve his age?"

Safi lived at a Novotel hotel in Nottingham, Derbyshire in the last days of his life and died at the Queens Medical Centre in the city on May 5, according to his death certificate which was signed by the Derby and Derbyshire assistant coroner.  

Ludin said he helped facilitate the repatriation of Safi’s body to Afghanistan after he was contacted by members of the Afghan community in Nottingham and by those connected with his cousin who lives in London. 

A letter signed by the Afghan Embassy’s consul – and shared with this paper by Ludin – shows the country’s representatives in the UK made “no objection” to the repatriation.  

Ludin said the Home Office had questions to answer, arguing that "a young person" should not have been housed in a hotel alone.  

“He was a young person and he should be placed in a very secure place. And why was there no support that could have prevented him from taking his own life? These are very serious questions and these questions need to be answered by the Home Office.  

“And why was his asylum application not accepted for the past five months, despite the fact that there is no deportation document and Afghanistan was taken by the Taliban, there is threat for those people who have had some sort of link with the previous government. 

“He came all the way from Afghanistan to the UK and he took dangerous journeys to join his cousin and his community – why did the Home Office fail to provide him refugee status or recognise him as a refugee? Why did they refuse his asylum application?” 

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are saddened by the death of Mr Safi, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. 

“It would be inappropriate to comment further ahead of any determination to be made by the coroner.”