CONCERNS are growing for a former Salisbury man after he was deported last month.

Reza Maghsoudi was flown back to his native country, Afghanistan, on January 22 after a lengthy legal battle to establish his British citizenship collapsed.

Now, his friends say he is in “a really bad place mentally, emotionally and physically”.

Following his flight back to Kabul, Reza was put up in a hotel for two weeks, but he has now been turned out onto the streets.

“The UK Home Office has sent Reza to Afghanistan without any formal documentation or identity papers, notwithstanding a photocopy of a passport that expired seven years ago,” his friend Digby Thomas-Bennett said.

“Without such documentation Reza is unable to obtain an Afghanistan passport, let alone an Afghanistan identity card, which is the bare minimum required to just exist.”

“Despite having no family to return to in Afghanistan, and despite having been in the UK since he was a child, and despite being a Hazara Shia Muslim at risk of murder by the Taliban, the British Home Office deported him.”

Reza fled the Taliban in 2003, aged 13, and trekked alone across Iran, Turkey and through Europe to England. He has spent the last few years living in Salisbury, where he established many local links with friends and St Thomas’s Church.

Reza was initially detained by the Home Office in October and was set to be deported on November 4, but the flight was put off while a judicial review took place.

A petition calling initially for him to be allowed to stay in the UK, and now to bring him back, has been signed by more than 83,000 people.

Reza’s friends say they are awaiting a final decision from the UK courts and the Home Office and have vowed to continue their fight to return him to the UK.

Salisbury MP John Glen said he has been speaking to contacts in Afghanistan with the hopes of setting Reza up with an apprenticeship.