Staff and students stand with Ahmed Sedeeq as his battle against deportation continues
His first appeal case to remain in the country was held in Bradford today
Staff and students from Sheffield Uni stood outside the Students' Union on Tuesday morning in support of Ahmed Sedeeq, the Sheffield PhD student who has been told he is getting deported back to Iraq.
Ahmed, who first came the university in 2011 to study Software Engineering, returned to Sheffield just three years later to study Computer Science in his attempt to flee Iraq for good.
Ahmed's father had been killed by ISIS and as an atheist knew his own life would be in danger if he did not seek refuge.
The decision to deport Ahmed follows over £57,000 spent in tuition fees in the last four years, on top of other student costs.
The solidarity action took place alongside his First Tier Tribunal immigration hearing in Bradford, one of the first stages in his fight to remain in the country.
Mark Pendleton, a lecturer at The University of Sheffield and member of the #LetAhmedStay campaign, told The Sheffield Tab: "Hopefully Ahmed will win his case today, but unfortunately it could last longer."
"It is a continuous fight for Ahmed," he continued. "If he gets rejected today there are other cases lined up – the Home Office will often bully you until you don't want to fight further and feel like you can appeal no more."
Another spokesperson told us: "We want to send a message to other universities, the Home Office and the UK. We want to reach out to anyone who wants to support Ahmed and what he has been through."
The solidarity action follows a number of events organised in aim to support Ahmed's cause, including a charity barbecue held in the summer. Another rally, organised by Unis Resist Borders, is taking place at Bradford today outside Ahmed's appeal hearing.
Ahmed has faced a number of challenges on his journey including his appeal case in Bradford today. Coming up to a year ago, Ahmed was locked up over Christmas for 11 days after accidentally overstaying his UK visa which was initially valid according to the Home Office.
Ahmed had a "tiny and dirty" cell and became ill during his time inside Britain's most notorious immigration centre.
His case is ongoing and his friends and supporters still fighting for his right to remain in the country. We wish the best for Ahmed and his success as his battle against deportation continues.