By Terence Dooley
A Scottish amateur boxer has won the biggest fight of his life after he and his entire family went on hunger strike in the hope of attracting attention to their collective attempt to gain citizenship and remain in the UK.
Dastan Kamil and his family had their citizenship applications knocked back for over 13 years, prompting them to camp outside Glasgow’s Borders and Immigration Agency in protest. Now, though, they have been given indefinite Leave to Remain and can now seek employment without restrictions.
A current Youth Champion, the 19-year-old considers Scotland his home; he previously told Kathleen Spiers of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail that he and his family, who are Iraqi-Kurdish refugees currently residing in northern Glasgow, longed to remain in the country and he is proud to represent Scotland on the world stage.
“I've lived in Scotland since I was five and this is home to me,” he said. “I'm the best in my category in the country yet I can't represent Scotland as I don't have citizenship.”
Scottish Labour's Paul Sweeney got in touch with the Home Office on behalf of the family. This political pressure coupled with the publicity drummed up by the hunger strike had the desired result, much to the delight of Kamil.
“Everything is looking good,” he said when speaking to Ben Wray of @TheCommonSpace. “We can now get on with our lives. I’m looking forward to bringing back medals for my country...I’d like to thank everyone who helped get our story out there, it meant a lot to us.”
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