Report from a KLM passenger of the mistreatment of refugee Ezzedine Mehimmid on board of the KLM

Report from a KLM passenger of the mistreatment of refugee Ezzedine Mehimmid on board of the KLM

dinsdag 22 januari 2019 07:31

DEPORTATION OF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID TO UNSAFE SUDAN/REPORT FROM A KLM PASSENGER ABOUT EZZEDINE’S MISTREATMENT ONBOARD OF THE KLM 

SEE ALSO

https://www.astridessed.nl/deportation-of-ezzedine-mehimmid-to-unsafe-sudan-report-from-a-klm-passenger-about-ezzedines-mistreatment-on-board-of-the-klm/

Background:

Dear Readers,
As you probably have learned, I recently have written a coupleof letters to:
The Secretary of State, mr Mark HarbersThe KLMKenya Airways [1]
Reason?
The deportation of mr Ezzedine Rahmatallah Mehimmid to dangereous Sudan!
Because Sudan not only is governed by a hard, repressive dictatorship[since 1989], which violates human rights on an extreme level, alsoin warstricken Darfur, warcrimes and crimes against humanityare committed! [2]
And moreover, the International Criminal Court at the Hague issueda warrant of arrest for Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir oncharges of crimes against humanity and warcrimes! [3]
Needless to say, that deportation of refugees to such a countryis dangerous, especially since mr Ezzedine Mehimmid comesfrom warstricken Darfur!
Already the Netherlands deported a Sudanese refugee in december2017, who at arrival in Khartoum was mistreated and now lives in Sudan, hiding himself, as Amnesty International wrotein a report. [4]
But despite of the fact, that Amnesty International has shared thisreport with Secretary of State, mr Harbers, he is still continuingthis policy of deportations against Sudanese refugees! [5]
KLM
The Aircraft company KLM also plays a dirty role sinceyear and day, cooperating with the Dutch policy ofdeportations [6] and  has cooperated too in the deportationof mr Mehimmid [first traject to Nairobi] [7]
But that’s not all:I have written Kenya Airways, that was/is [they did it before] [8]responsible for the last traject [from Nairobi to Khartoum], justin time to prevent further deportation to Khartoum, alasto no avail. [9]

IMPORTANT/REPORT OF A KLM PASSENGER ABOUTTHE DEPORTATION OF MR MEHIMMID
It is very important, that this time we have an eyewitness report of apassenger of KLM, who described not only the cruel andhard behaviour of the Marechaussee [Dutch military police], which accompaniedmr Mehimmid, but also the scandalous behaviour of the KLMpersonnel, assisting the Marechaussee [Dutch military police]!
The KLM passenger asked me and others to share her eyewitness’testimony and I an happy to do that here, so that you know it too,readers!
So read the horror story of the KLM passenger, who had thecourage to protest against the deportation of mr Ezzerdine Mehimmid,together with other courageous people!
See first the eyewitness testimony and below that the notes
But readers remember this:
Even when the KLM personnel had not been misbehaving themselves,the KLM cooperation to this deportation and all the othersto dangerous countries, is a crime!
And I hold KLM accountable. until they stop assistingthe Dutch government in deporting refugees!
Astrid Essed

REPORT FROM KLM PASSENGER ABOUT THE DEPORTATION OFEZZEDINE MEHIMMID:
AT LEAST 12 MILITARY POLICE INVOLVED IN DEPORTATIONVIOLENCE AGAINST SUDANESE REFUGEE EZZEDINE MEHIMMID

https://www.doorbraak.eu/at-least-12-military-police-involved-in-deportation-violence-against-sudanese-refugee-ezzedine-mehimmid/

Anger, bewilderment and disappointment among passengers on a deportation flight. On Saturday, January 5, 2019, a KLM flight departed with a young man, mr. Mehimmid, on board. Mr. Mehimmid was forcibly deported to Sudan. It is feared that his life is in danger.

A report on the situation in the plane

Upon boarding, my travel partner and I arrived at our seats in the back of the plane. There was a commotion and we saw several passengers speaking with the military police (Royal Netherlands Marechaussee), who were present on board. I asked a woman traveling with three young children what was going on. She explained to us that a man was being forcibly transported on the flight, in order to bring him via a transfer in Nairobi to Khartoum (Sudan). He was to be handed over there and left to his fate. She asked what we could do to stop this. We knew that the situation in Sudan was extremely unsafe, and couldn’t understand how the man could be forcibly taken there. I’m still thinking about what happened on that flight and it’s important to me to get the story out.

Cries for help were answered with violence from the marechaussee


Mr. Mehimmid was placed all the way in the back in the last row. The first time we caught sight of him, he was being forced to lie flat on the seats. Three men from the marechaussee were sitting on top of him. A moment later he began to shout, and we saw his face shortly appear above the seats, only to disappear again after a few seconds. The marechaussee were restraining him using sheer force. They covered his mouth to silence him, and his eyes as well. We could only see his feet sticking out and moving.

Passengers don’t think this is “normal”

Meanwhile there was increasing concern and turmoil among the other passengers, who asked questions and exclaimed that they couldn’t believe that this was happening. Multiple passengers came to the conclusion that they were witnessing a violation of human rights and expressed their criticisms and their concerns outright. Both the marechaussee and the KLM staff were proactive in approaching passengers, attempting to justify what was going on and to de-escalate. One of the stewardesses repeatedly said: “It’s normal that they are a bit agitated in the beginning, but then they realize that they really will be deported and they start to calm down later. Don’t worry.” Both she and the Marechaussee emphasized repeatedly that the case had been carefully considered by a judge.

Parliamentary questions and Amnesty International were ignored

Later we learned that the same morning of the deportation parliamentary questions had been submitted by a parliamentarian that critically questions the decision to deport this man. These questions still need to be treated by the secretary of State on this subject, mr. Harbers. Furthermore, Amnesty International Netherlands brought out a report on the Monday after the deportation, that explains that they had urgently requested the secretary of State for Migration and Safety mr. Harbers, months ago, to suspend deportations to Sudan. Research by Amnesty International shows that earlier deportations to Sudan in 2017 and 2018 resulted in detention, abuse, and humiliation.

The Netherlands: intentionally indifferent

The Dutch government does not monitor what happens to a person after deportation. People are handed over at the airport and mr. Harbers’ job is done, despite him being the responsible minister. It is practically impossible for someone who ends up in a dire situation upon deportation to report or seek redress. It is also extremely difficult and often impossible for human rights organizations to acquire information and gather proof upon which to publish and act. These cases are extremely isolated. After seeking more information about this subject with Amnesty International, I learned that in few cases they manage, working behind the scenes, to uncover relevant information about the situation of the deportee. This work requires much patience, willpower, and the use of connections and other means. In most of these cases they can not publicly reveal the information, in order not to jeopardize the security of the people in question. Though in such cases they do inform the Secretary of State. The experience is however that secretary of State responds to these reports with indifference.

The situation in Sudan

It involved a deportation to Sudan, a country which is governed by a military regime which is known for its crimes and the torture of its citizens. It is a known fact that citizens of Sudan who attempt to request asylum in another country are automatically seen as traitors, and that they therefore attract extra attention and face extra danger if they return to Sudan. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has indicted President Omar al-Bashir for genocide in Darfur. Countless reports have been published, including by the Dutch government, on human rights violations in Sudan, ranging from arbitrary arrest to extreme torture and execution by the Sudanese authorities.

KLM and marechaussee are aware of risks associated with this deportation

Once the flight was underway, KLM staff and one policeman of the marechaussee admitted that they understand that the fears over the consequences of this deportation are legit. It is shocking and impossible to comprehend that they nonetheless carry through, even when someone’s life is in danger.

Suppressing criticism

It must have been abundantly clear to all involved parties that with the deportation of mr. Mehimmid, who had come to the Netherlands in order to find refuge, his life would be jeopardized. Nonetheless, no effort was spared to ensure that the deportation would continue as planned. There were many agents of the marechaussee on board, who were there to keep Mr. Mehimmid and other critical passengers under control by all possible means, including violence. At one point we counted 12 policemen in the airplane. Any attempt to film the situation was met with a fierce response from both KLM staff and the marechaussee. Passengers who filmed were forced to erase the footage on pain of being ejected from the flight and arrested. We learned later that the marechaussee had claimed in the media that there had been no threat of coercion to the passengers. This was not how we experienced it, to say the least.

Protest, arrests, and intimidation

Two passengers who continued to protest against the deportation and refused to sit were ordered by the marechaussee to comply. After responding that they wished, before anything else, to speak to the pilot, they were arrested on the spot by at least 4 agents of the marechaussee and roughly forced from the plane via the back door. Having a conversation was impossible. Five minutes later another passenger was also forcefully taken of the plane. One policeman expressed that the situation was getting too crazy. At this point many passengers still refused to sit and there was a strong denunciation of the whole situation: the deportation, the rough behavior of the marechaussee, the ban on filming and the arrests. After about 20 more minutes of intimidation by the marechaussee, and faced with the prospect of violent arrest or missing our flights, passengers complied with the order to sit. One passenger shared with me that she wanted to keep protesting but that she couldn’t afford risking to be kicked off the plane and having to buy new tickets. Another passenger later expressed that he wished he had remained standing. The rest of the flight was rather gloomy, many passengers continued discussing with each other what they had just
witnessed. mr. Mehimmid was guarded for the rest of the flight by 4 members of the marechaussee.

KLM, take responsibility

We call on the staff of KLM to be critical of this sort of situation in the future, to gather information and refuse cooperation. The pilot can intervene. If this had been the case on this flight, it would have earned the respect of us passengers; instead now we are left with bewilderment, anger, and disappointment.

Mr. Mehimmid

In the end the plane departed with mr. Mehimmid on board, against his will and with the outright violation of his most basic human rights. After the flight landed I sought contact with people involved in the case of mr. Mehimmid. I came to understand that sharing information or voicing suspicions about his current situation could place him in more danger. It is deeply unfortunate that the Dutch government has placed him and those close to him in this situation. Our thoughts are with him, and we can only hope, after all the commotion and condemnation this has caused, that the Dutch government will try to save face by making sure he will be brought to safety.

Anna

END OF THE REPORT OF THE KLM PASSENGER

NOTES

[1]

SECRETARY OF STATE MR HARBERS AND HIS RESPONSIBILITYFOR THE DEPORTATION OF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID/LETTERTO HARBERSASTRID ESSED
IN DUTCH:
  STAATSSECRETARIS HARBERS EN ZIJN VERANTWOORDELIJKHEIDVOOR DE UITZETTING VAN EZZEDINE MEHIMMID/BRIEF AANHARBERSASTRID ESSED
  https://www.astridessed.nl/staatssecretaris-harbers-en-zijn-verantwoordelijkheid-voor-de-deportatie-van-ezzedine-mehimmid-brief-aan-harbers/
KLM COMPLICITY WITH THE DEPORTATIONOF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID/LETTER TO KLMASTRID ESSED
https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-ezzedine-mehimmid-to-unsafe-sudan-letter-to-klm/

IN DUTCH:

   KLM MEDEPLICHTIGHEID AAN DE DEPORTATIE VAN EZZEDINEMEHIMMID NAAR ONVEILIG SOEDAN/BRIEF AAN KLMASTRID ESSED
  https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-medeplichtigheid-aan-de-deportatie-van-ezzedine-mehimmid-naar-onveilig-soedan-brief-aan-klm/
  
  URGENT REQUEST/KENYA AIRWAYS/STOP THE DEPORTATIONOF MR MEHIMMID TO DANGEROUS SUDAN/LETTER TOKENYA AIRWAYSASTRID ESSED
 https://www.astridessed.nl/urgent-request-kenya-airways-stop-the-deportation-of-mr-mehimmid-to-dangerous-sudan-letter-to-keny-airways/
  THE DEPORTATION OF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID TO UNSAFESUDAN/KENYA AIRWAYS COMPLICITY/REACTIONTO THE ANSWER OF KENYA AIRWAYSASTRID ESSED
  https://www.astridessed.nl/the-deportation-of-ezzedine-mehimmid-to-unsafe-sudan-kenya-airways-complicity-reaction-to-the-answer-of-kenya-airways/
  [2]
 ”In Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and other government-aligned forces attacked civilians. Sudan failed to provide accountability for serious crimes committed during the conflicts, or other serious human rights violations. ”
 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORLD REPORT 2018SUDAN/EVENTS OF 2017
   https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/sudan
 The human rights situation has not improved. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and aligned forces, notably the newly created Rapid Support Forces, have continued to attack civilians in Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile with utter impunity.  National security agents engage in entrenched patterns of repression, targeting civil society leaders, human rights activists, and students for harassment, arbitrary detentions, and torture; restricting civil society organizations and independent media; and using lethal force to disperse protesters, killing hundreds in broad daylight”
  HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHHUMAN RIGHTS BENCHMARKS FOR SUDANEIGHT WAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS
     https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/03/human-rights-benchmarks-sudan
    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHMEN WITH NO MERCYRAPID SUPPORT FORCES ATTACKS AGAINST CIVILIAN INDARFUR, SUDAN
    https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/09/09/men-no-mercy/rapid-support-forces-attacks-against-civilians-darfur-sudan
  [3]
   INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTAL BASHIR CASE
  https://www.icc-cpi.int/darfur/albashir
  ”On March 4, 2009, the pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant of arrest for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes”
  HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDARFUR: INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT’S DECISION ONBASHIR ARREST WARRANT
   https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/02/03/darfur-international-criminal-courts-decision-bashir-arrest-warrant
   [4]
”Investigations of Amnesty International reveal, that a Sudaneserefugee, who has been deported last year [2017/addition Astrid Essed]has been arrested at arrival in Sudan.There is clear evidence, among else photo’s of injuries, thathe has been in isolation for thirteen days and has been humiliatedand mistreated.Now he lives, hiding for the autorities.
  AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSUDANESE REFUGEE ARRESTED AFTER DEPORTATIONFROM THE NETHERLANDS
IN DUTCH:
  AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSUDANESE MAN OPGEPAKT NA UITZETTING VANUIT NEDERLAND
    https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/sudanese-man-opgepakt-na-uitzetting-vanuit-nederland
   [5]

”Despite of the fact, that Amnesty has shared the results ofher investigations with Secretary of State mr Harbers, thereagain was a deportation of a Sudanese refugee last week”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSUDANESE REFUGEE ARRESTED AFTER DEPORTATIONFROM THE NETHERLANDS
IN DUTCH

  ”’Ondanks het feit dat Amnesty de uitkomsten van het onderzoek heeft gedeeld met staatssecretaris Harbers, vond het afgelopen weekend weer een uitzetting van een Sudanese asielzoeker plaats” AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSUDANESE MAN OPGEPAKT NA UITZETTING VANUIT NEDERLAND    https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/sudanese-man-opgepakt-na-uitzetting-vanuit-nederland

[6]
https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=KLM

IN ENGLISH
https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-mr-mohammed-samir-abdullah-to-dangerous-sudan-letter-to-klm/

https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-mr-f-m-amiri-to-unsafe-afghanistanletter-to-klm/

https://www.astridessed.nl/reaction-to-klm-facebookyour-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-an-afghan-family-to-unsafe-and-dangerous-afghanistan/

https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-an-afghan-family-to-unsafe-and-dangerous-afghanistanletter-to-the-klm/

[7]

KLM COMPLICITY WITH THE DEPORTATIONOF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID/LETTER TO KLMASTRID ESSED
https://www.astridessed.nl/klm-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-ezzedine-mehimmid-to-unsafe-sudan-letter-to-klm/

[8]

KENYA AIRWAYS COMPLICITY WITH THEDEPORTATION OF A REFUGEE TO UNSAFE SUDAN/LETTER TO KENYA AIRWAYSASTRID ESSED15 MAY 2017
https://www.astridessed.nl/kenya-airways-complicity-with-the-deportation-of-a-refugee-to-unsafe-sudanletter-to-kenya-airways/
   
    [9]

 URGENT REQUEST/KENYA AIRWAYS/STOP THE DEPORTATIONOF MR MEHIMMID TO DANGEROUS SUDAN/LETTER TOKENYA AIRWAYSASTRID ESSED
 https://www.astridessed.nl/urgent-request-kenya-airways-stop-the-deportation-of-mr-mehimmid-to-dangerous-sudan-letter-to-keny-airways/
  THE DEPORTATION OF EZZEDINE MEHIMMID TO UNSAFESUDAN/KENYA AIRWAYS COMPLICITY/REACTIONTO THE ANSWER OF KENYA AIRWAYSASTRID ESSED
  https://www.astridessed.nl/the-deportation-of-ezzedine-mehimmid-to-unsafe-sudan-kenya-airways-complicity-reaction-to-the-answer-of-kenya-airways/

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