AN ASYLUM seeker has sewn his mouth shut as part of a protest against the Home Office.

Abdul Rahman Safi is currently sitting outside the UK Visa and Immigration building at Brand Street and plans to for as long as he can.

The 59-year-old who is originally from Afghanistan says he has been in the UK for the last 12 years and is currently living in Glasgow’s South Side.

However, he claims the Home Office have still not made a decision on his asylum case and he is now “fed up”.

Mr Safi’s friend, Mohammad Asif, who is chair of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, said: “The Home Office is delaying the case every time – his asylum case is still undecided.

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“They are telling him to wait six months, then three months and then he is not getting any reply.

“He is fed up and says the only way to highlight the case is to protest so he has stitched his lips together and is not eating anything.”

A member of the public has provided Mr Safi with a tent as he was starting to get cold, after sitting in the street since 10am this morning.

Mr Asif added: “He said he would stay outside there for as long as his body can take it.”

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, said: "I can’t think of a more retrograde government policy than actively preventing human beings from working and being independent and forcing them to depend on the state. 

"If asylum seekers were allowed to work they could contribute millions to the Scottish tax base. The years of waiting case are typical for many asylum seekers, forced into destitution in this city.

"It is sad and there is no option but to challenge the hostile environment emanating from Westminster."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits in line with immigration rules.”

A Police Scotland spokesman added: "We are aware of a protest in Brand Street and the event is being policed appropriately. Officers are providing guidance regarding social distancing rules."