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Afghan family supporters to continue asylum battle; DEPORTATION: Couple and children flown to Germany.

SUPPORTERS of an Afghan family who failed in an 11th-hour attempt to prevent their deportation from the UK vowed last night to continue their fight.

Farid Ahmadi, 33, his wife Feriba, 24, and their children Hadia, six, and Seear, four, were taken from a detention centre yesterday morning, three weeks after being seized by riot police from a mosque in the West Midlands.

Placard-waving protesters blocked the path of two blacked-out vans that left the centre at Harmondsworth, near Heathrow airport, and were bundled out of the way by police.

The family was taken to an undisclosed airport and put on a speciallychartered jet to Munich in an operation that cost the taxpayer a reported pounds 60,000, a figure disputed by the Home Office. A Home Office spokeswoman said, ``The departure took place in an orderly and dignified manner.''

Home Office minister Beverley Hughes said she was satisfied the Government had acted within international law by returning the family to Germany, where they made their initial asylum application.

Campaigner Paul Rowlands, who with his partner Soraya Walton, tried to make the Ahmadi children wards of court, said campaigners would continue their battle in Germany.

Mr Rowlands, 39, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, said, ``This is not the end, it is the start. We have vowed to follow them to the end of the earth to make them happy.''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 15, 2002
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