Hunger Striking Iranian Asylum Seeker 'Living Like Prisoner In UK' After Border Agency Confiscated Passport

A failed asylum seeker who went on hunger strike after immigration officials confiscated his passport today told a High Court judge he was "living like a prisoner" in the UK.

The man - a 50-year-old Iranian GP - told Mr Justice Baker he was not sure there would be a "positive outcome" but said he was on hunger strike to "make my position clear".

He told the Court of Protection in London he left Iran after being put under surveillance because of his "political machinations".

Specialists treating the GP say he has mental health problems. One told the court the GP suffers from a paranoid personality disorder, a delusional disorder and depression.

Mr Justice Baker has been asked to decide whether artificial nutrition and hydration treatment should be provided to the GP.

Lawyers representing bosses at the NHS hospital where the GP is being treated have made an application to the Court of Protection under mental health legislation.

Bosses want Mr Justice Baker to rule that the doctor "lacks capacity" to make decisions and give medics the go-ahead to administer fluids and vitamins.

They also want the judge to approve the use of "such reasonable force and restraint that is necessary".

The Court of Protection is part of the High Court and analyses issues surrounding the care and treatment of sick and vulnerable people.

Mr Justice Baker has heard submissions from lawyers representing the NHS trust which controls the hospital and from court-appointed lawyers representing the GP.

He has been told that the GP arrived in the UK in 2011, on a six-month visa, to study English.

The GP made more than one unsuccessful asylum application, the judge heard.

The GP's passport had been confiscated by UK Border Agency officials

In May 2012, UK Border Agency officials confiscated his passport and said he could have it back on condition that he returned to Iran. In response the GP went on hunger strike.

Mr Justice Baker has been told that he stopped eating solid food but had been drinking some liquids. In early December, the doctor also stopped drinking.

Another High Court judge earlier ruled that neither the doctor nor the hospital where he is being treated - in the south-east of England - could be identified in media reports.

Mr Justice Baker later reserved judgment to a date to be fixed.

The judge said the GP would be provided with "artificial hydration and nutrition" on an interim basis until a decision was made.

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