Mehdi, the 19-year-old gay Iranian who fled the United Kingdom last year when the Home Office ordered his deportation to Iran, is expected to go on hunger strike in the Rotterdam detention centre where he is being held, his supporters in the UK said on Monday.

Following the loss of an appeal in a Dutch court to not be returned to the UK, Mehdi was arrested on Tuesday last week.

His uncle, who has lived and worked in the UK for more than 30 years, has been in regular telephone contact with him. But now the only telephone calls Mehdi is permitted are those with his legal representative in Amsterdam.

“He told me he was to be deported on Tuesday February 26 on a flight from Amsterdam to London Heathrow,” the uncle said.

“Mehdi told me he is going on hunger strike – he is very depressed and is on suicide watch. I am very worried,” he admitted.

Mehdi was in England for two years completing his education on a student visa. While in the country he learned that his former boyfriend had apparently been executed for being gay. Before the execution, he revealed Mehdi’s identity, after apparently being tortured.

It was after he learned of the execution that Mehdi decided to apply to the UK authorities for asylum, claiming that his life would be in danger if he returned to Iran. His application was denied.

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