The British Government is launching a second attempt to deport an Afghan asylum seeker threatened with beheading by the Taliban.
Samim Bigzad was granted a dramatic reprieve last month when the pilot of a passenger plane due to remove him to Kabul refused to take off.
But relatives were informed this morning that the 22-year-old was being removed from the Brook House detention centre to be forced on another flight.
Mr Bigzad’s cousin, Arash, told The Independent: “He said ‘they are coming to take me back to the airport’. He was crying and then the phone cut off.
“I tried to call his number again and couldn’t get through.”
Relatives and campaigners were dismayed by the news, which came as Mr Bigzad’s lawyer was preparing a new asylum claim.
His solicitor is attempting to halt the removal and campaigners were hoping to repeat efforts to alert the passengers and crew of the flight to the asylum seeker’s presence on board.
But there were fears that short notice and limited information on the flight, which is expected to take off shortly after 11am, will make any move to stop it impossible.
Mr Bigzad’s initial application for protection was refused last year and was detained without warning during a routing immigration appointment in July.
He told The Independent he believes he will be killed if he is deported to Kabul, which he fled in 2015 to join his father and cousin in the UK.
Mr Bigzad said he was threatened with beheading by Taliban militants who targeted him because of his work for a construction company that had contracts with the Afghan government and American military.
The Islamist insurgents have launched frequent attack on “puppets” accused of colluding with their enemies, amid a rise in conflict and terror attacks in Afghanistan.
Humanitarian organisations have appealed for the British Government to halt deportations to the country, where it announced it would be sending more troops earlier this year.
But Kabul has been ruled officially “safe” for returns after Theresa May won a legal battle as Home Secretary in the Court of Appeal.