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Byline: katie sands Reporter

THOUSANDS of people have continued to pledge their support for a teenager who has lived in Cardiff for nearly half his life but who faces deportation to Afghanistan. More than 9,000 people have signed a petition calling for Bashir Naderi, 19, not to be deported.

His fight to stay in Wales went viral a week ago after a petition was set up in protest at the move, which would see him put on a flight to Kabul, while an outpouring of support has included messages from friends, politicians and celebrities.

Bashir fled Afghanistan when he was 10, after his father was killed.

His mother sold their land to pay for him to be taken out of the country, and it took him a year to reach the UK.

He was eventually placed with a foster family in Cardiff, was enrolled at the city's Mary Immaculate High School and went on to study at Cardiff and Vale College.

With the help of friends and Bashir's girlfriend, Nicole Cooper, and her family, a petition was set up while Bashir was in a detention centre, where he was held before his flight headed for Kabul on Monday.

But friends and family sought to review his planned deportation and Bashir was told on Monday when he was at Gatwick Airport that he wouldn't be boarding the flight.

He was allowed home and was reunited with his family on Tuesday, and his legal team have been given 14 days to present an appeal against the removal order.

While Bashir enjoys time with his family in Wales this weekend, support continues to pour in for the teenager's fight to stay in Wales.

More than 9,300 people had signed a petition on by Saturday afternoon.

Singer Charlotte Church shared the petition and wrote: "Please sign and share, it might change someone's life."

Olympian Jamie Baulch urged social media users to sign the petition, writing "if we can help and make a change then it's perfect", while singer Cerys Matthews said: "It's clear that giving asylum for 10 years, then expelling to a now-foreign place is cruel to the ninth degree".

Cardiff Central's MP Jo Stevens and AM Jenny Rathbone have backed Bashir, while Kevin Brennan MP raised his case at Home Office questions this week.

"There is nothing more I want than to be in this country where my new family is," Bashir said.

"I have never been more welcomed into loving arms than I have with the Cooper family and me and Nicole are inseparable and she means the world to me and more."

Nicole, 24, said: "It would be tremendously devastating to all of us if he was deported and I don't think we would cope knowing there was possibly more we could do to keep him here."

| To sign the petition, see on day - to - afghanistan/u/18343070


Bashir Naderi with his girlfriend of two years Nicole Cooper

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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Nov 6, 2016
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