Abdal, 30, from Sudan living in the UK

“Seven reports from seven different doctors, all of them come to one conclusion.”

Abdal, 30, is a survivor of torture from Darfur. He has been detained three times since 2004, for a total of almost three years.

Torture and escape
I suffered serious physical torture by the Sudanese government. That’s the reason I fled my country.  I have been helped by a family member who got a passport and helped me to escape.  I had over 263 scars on my body. I claimed asylum at the airport, I told them what happened. But unfortunately they dismissed my claim and said “We don’t believe you.”

I was then homeless for quite some time. Along with that suffering from severe depression. I can’t put it to you in words. Sleeping rough in the street, begging for foods, it was complete humiliation.

In and out of detention
I was arrested by the UKBA and I was taken to an immigration centre. My mental health deteriorated, really bad. When I was locked in my room, all I was thinking about was how I was tortured. I attempted suicide again.  I had something to keep me alive, my son, My wife was coming to visit me with my little boy.

The Sudanese Embassy said I am not a Sudanese, I am a Somalian. I was furious. I didn’t know at the time why he said that.  I provided my original birth certificate, along with hospital report and other documentation, confirming that I am from Sudan.

Healthcare informed the Home Office that I am a victim of severe torture and that I’m not fit for detention.  A specialist reported to Home Office that I am a victim of extensive torture, that I’m not fit for detention.  Seven reports from seven different doctors, all of them come to one conclusion.  Home Office response is the same.

I was not given my medication for nine days, locked up in isolation by myself.  I just could not believe, it was, o my god. I tried to kill myself, I couldn’t do it, nothing in the room, it was just agonizing.  I could not make sense or process what happening.  For 40 days I had water only when I took my medication. Sometimes I drink salt or sugar to keep my organs in place but I have not eaten a single food in that time. Whilst in court, I passed out. I woke up in hospital. I was advised by the doctor to eat, otherwise I’m gonna die.

Every time I got to court to seek bail the Home Office say I’m not cooperating.  I asked the judge what I have to do to prove cooperation, the judge said provide documentation.  I said I provided the original birth certificate and other documents. I wrote a letter that I’m happy to attend the embassy to resolve the issue of my identity.  When I arrive at the embassy, I was shaking, shivering. I saw the ambassador. My case owner even handed me a tissue, she promised me “We now have not any way to say you’re not complying, you’re very ill and you’ve still come.”

The sufferings continue
Now I’ve been detained for 22 months straight. The sufferings continue.  They call me the most detained person, because they release me, they detain me, they release me, they detain me.

12 years in the UK
Still undocumented and unreturnable for administrative reasons