A 27-year-old Yemeni student has moved the Delhi High Court, seeking protection against deportation citing threats from Houthi rebels and other non-state actors such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State in his country.
Samer Hamood Ahmed Mohammed al-Walehi has alleged that he was called to the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) here “on the pretext” of visa extension, and was “illegally” detained. He has been studying in India since 2013 and had sought visa extension after it expired in October. The court sought a verbal assurance from the FRRO that al-Walehi’s deportation would be put on hold until January 31.
Al-Walehi’s lawyer, Gunjan Singh, told the court that his client had been “illegally” detained and that his deportation proceedings had been started without notification.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain assured the court that “nothing will be done” till the next date of hearing.
Al-Walehi told the court that he had approached the UNHCR seeking refugee status after the civil war broke out in Yemen.
In his plea, al-Walehi said that the UNHCR had interviewed him while he was under detention and that the UN refugee agency had recommended he be recognised as a refugee eligible for a long term visa (LTV). “It is also important to mention that the FRRO has made it a routine to not grant LTVs to refugees and to deport them without allowing them proper legal aid and counsel. The FRRO also at times does its best to block all attempts by the refugees or their counsel to access the necessary information and resources that would enable them to contest their deportation,” alleges the plea.