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Young Afghan actor not allowed to stay in Sweden

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 01:47

Unlike the refugee he played in a BBC radio comedy, young Afghan actor Ajmal Shamsi has been told he cannot stay in Sweden. David Doyle reports.

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AUDIO EXTRACT OF RICHES TRANSLATING AJMAL SHAMSI'S LINES (Swedish/English): SHAMSI: "Was when I got to Greece." RICHES: "Was when you came to Greece." SHAMSI: "I swam for my life." RICHES : "You swam for your life?" That was Afghan refugee Ajmal Shamsi acting alongside award-winning British comedian Adam Riches in the BBC radio comedy "The Cold Swedish Winter". In the fictional world of the BBC episode, aired earlier this month, his character is granted asylum. But in the real world, 18-year-old Shamsi has been told he won't be allowed to stay in Sweden and he now faces the possibility of being deported back to Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE) (Swedish) AFGHAN REFUGEE AND ASYLUM SEEKER, AJMAL SHAMSI, SAYING: "My brother was killed, he was 19-years-old. He was killed and after that my mother said, 'You cannot stay in Afghanistan.' I had to go to Sweden. I can't go back to Afghanistan. It's not possible. What am I supposed to do? I'm very, very frightened." Shamsi was one of 163,000 refugees who came to Sweden in 2016 - the highest number per capita in Europe. That pace of migration worried some Swedes. The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats saw a surge in support, which prompted the government to introduce tough migration laws. At a camp in Stockholm, set up to protest deportations to Afghanistan, Shamsi's co-star Thomas Oredsson was scathing about the decision. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SWEDISH ACTOR AND STAND-UP COMEDIAN, THOMAS OREDSSON, SAYING: "I can't really get it, I think it's inhuman and it's disgusting how we treat people in need." Shamsi is set to appeal the decision by Sweden's migration not to grant him refugee status.

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Young Afghan actor not allowed to stay in Sweden

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 01:47