Iman first saw his wife at a party and wanted to speak to her. Their fathers arranged their first visit; ‘I fell in love with her’. Their wedding soon afterwards was attended by over 300 people, family, friends and relatives.
Iman worked as an architect and supported his wife and a few years later their son too. They had a good life together with lots of trips out together as a family.
10 years later Iman was forced to flee Iran, his journey was not straightforward. He lost contact with his family at times. After being detained without food or medical assistance in Europe he learnt his son wasn’t well and wasn’t coping with the stress of what had happened to his father so he decided to go back to Iran to see his family.
Whilst he was there he was arrested and his wife and son both witnessed him being beaten. His son was crying and shouting for him. He was imprisoned and tortured. A friend helped him escape and he fled on a lorry. He changed lorries on the journey and didn’t know the route they were taking. He arrived in the UK and was granted refugee status over a year later.
He was nervous to find out how his wife and son were doing when he made contact with them after reaching the UK. He also needed money for a SIM card to contact them. When he spoke to his wife she just cried. Iman was so relieved to be able to speak to her again.
Iman’s son continues to be unwell and has stopped attending school as he struggles with the stress and trauma of what the family have been through. Him and his mother live with family members but are in constant fear of the authorities in Iran and his son doesn’t feel safe being out of the house.
Iman himself has health problems including PTSD due to the torture he suffered in Iran and the lack of treatment whilst imprisoned in Europe; ‘I’m still thinking about my son and my family all the time.’ He’s now receiving specialist therapy to help him overcome his problems.
I wish to be with my family as others have the right to live with their family – in safety and security. I cannot return to Iran and they deserve to be with me, the husband and father who loves them.’
Iman’s family needed to travel outside Iran for a visa appointment. The worry about how to raise the money to get them there had him hospitalised with a panic attack. As a consequence he borrowed money he couldn’t afford to pay back and then was under stress to make repayments.
Part of the money was raised for him by the community where he’s now living. Together Now were able to pay the remainder of the money so he doesn’t have to cope with additional stress around the debt whilst he continues his therapy.