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The Day I Will Never Forget

December 31, 2009 by  


By Nadja Dizdarevic

After Fajr prayers, I decided to go to sleep for a while, because I was up all night working on some brothers cases. These brothers (here in bosnia ) are detained in the immigration centre. I went to bed, but I could not sleep, for some reason I did not feel peace in my heart.

After half an hour of restlessness, I decided to get up. My children were surprised I was awake as I normally sleep longer on Mondays and Thursdays as I try and follow the sunnah for fasting on these days. I told them to go back to sleep, and I explained to them that I had to go to the immigration centre early so that I can get the brothers there to sign some legal documents. Soon I heard my mobile phone ring,

It was very bad news. Amar Hanci’s deportation was going to be deported to Tunisia at 2pm this day. I felt the wind and colour drain from me, and words cannot really describe how despondent I felt at that moment. I had been so busy with his case and had sought a temporary injunction from the international court of law in Strasbourg with the aim of prohibiting his deportation. Everything we had asked in the Bosnian court of law had been refused.

I realised I was not thinking rationally as I was so in shock that this brother would be deported. I begam to frantically make a list of organisations and NGOs that I could contact to help. I made a call to Strasboug, then London. I then got confirmation from Strasbourg that they expect the lawyer to act in an urgent procedure, but this was not enough for me. My heart was pounding so much knowing the suffering this brother will face that I could feel it through my whole body. The phone rang again.

It was Amar, and he was extremely distressed, talking and crying in one breath. He said the authorities won’t wait until 2pm, and they want to take him to the airport earlier. He asked me to come immediately. I was panicked myself, making calls to every institution I could letting them know that deportation had begun.
Amars wife was calling me crying and upset. I was scared to frighten her and cause her more distress, so I told her I am doing what I can with the help of Allah(Swt). When I got to the immigration centre, the gates were wide open with the van in the front yard. Even stranger was that I was asked to stay in the car fro 10 minutes. I have never been asked before to do this, as I am known to the authorities through my amnesty international work. I got out the car and asked to see the manager. I was afraid the authorities will take Amar in the van without giving me even the chance to see him or stop them.

From inside, I heard a sound so frightening and strange I was not aware it was even a human voice. My blood iced in my veins when I realised it was Amars voice painfully crying. I immediately demanded a meeting with the manager and they agreed. I was informed that brother Amar was in a bad state of health, doctors were around him giving him oxygen and medicines but nothing seemed to work, he was looking bad. I asked the manager to discuss this like a human being and forget our roles. I showed him the documentation I have, the reports, about brothers who have been deported and the torture they faced from the Tunisians when they went back.

I told the manager what I did in the morning, and that positive imminent news would arrive from Strasbourg. The manager became sympathetic and made some phonecalls, with the government agreeing to stay the deportation until the following Monday. I expressed my thanks to the staff and the manager in the centre for how they helped, emphasising that had they not intervened all these late actions would be for nothing.

After another long talk with the manager, he arranged for me to see Amar with the doctor and let him know the news. When I walked into where Amar was, his state of health and mental state shocked me, I had to hold onto the side of the bed to stop from fainting. Walahi I will never forget that scene and in my life I have already seen many terrible scenes. The brother was shaking uncontrollably, tears were streaming, his face was so white and his hands looked as if they were frozen. He begged to be killed rather than go back to the long torture that would await his return in Tunisia. He spent 3 days in a Tunisian prison before, and would rather be dead than have one more day of that torture. It took me a long time to get him to believe that the deportation is halted, and finally once he understood what I was saying he began to cry even more. It was not normal crying, but crying the likes of which I have never heard before. I took an oath with Allah(swt) in front of him that I would do all I could to stop the deportation, and that inshallah he would not be deported. He began to calm down, and asked that I contact his wife and mother in law to let them know what is happening.

I told him he should do this himself as it is better, and then in the meantime I will contact the organisations to pressurise the European court. Amars wife contacted me as she wished to see her husband but did not have the means. Whilst this was happening, I received notification from the court in Strasbourg that deportation has been stayed untl January 15, 2010 at 6pm. Allahu Akbar, how merciful Allah(swt) is!

I was crying now, but tears of relief and joy, but my children were scared that the deportation had happened and they were tears of sadness. They realised it was good news when I went into Sadja as a way of thanking Allah(swt) and they became happy themselves.

I then remembered to contact Amars wife and I arranged to drive her and her kids to see him. When I drove them back, they seemed happy and calm, but all I could see in my minds eye was Amars pain and desperation. I thank Allah(swt) on this day, where it ended well only because of His(swt) help. I fear for the next day that comes like this, and I ask you for your support and dua’ that these situations are resolved. These brothers need all of our help and dua’. We rely on Allah(swt), we trust in Him(swt) and we accept His(swt) decree, Ameen.

This article has been translated from the story of Sister Nadja Dizdarevic. She works tirelessly for these brothers who have been abandoned and let down by those in the Western countries living in comfort and ease. She has spent her time, money and suffered greatly for this from the authorities, having been physically attacked on several occasions ( I will provide a personal appeal from her later on). If you wish to donate to this cause, please contact me and I will pass on the sisters details / donation information.

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