Deportation is an inhuman exercise for the deportee.
I traveled to Nigeria in 2011 as a companion to a person who was being deported voluntarily. Despite being voluntarily deported the person in question was handcuffed to the Gardai as they walked him through customs and past all the other passengers for that flight to France and then on to Lagos Nigeria.
The wicked malice whispers that started around me were beyond belief. “He’s a criminal, Must be a murder ”
” Go back to where you belong.,No Blacks needed here ”
I sat in Dublin airport listening to all these whispers and felt so sad and alone. I took courage and asked did anyone know this man, then there was just silence. You could hear a pin drop.
Nobody spoke and we all filed on to our flight. I couldn’t sit beside my friend as he was made sit with the gardai.
The flight was a nightmare come true. The total buzz on the plane was about the black guy in handcuffs.
When we landed in Charles De Gaul Paris he was marched up the plane before we were allowed disembark.
Again whispers and jeering came from passengers.
I’m not used to traveling and felt totally out of my debt trying to find the place to get the connecting flight to Lagos. Lucky for me a lovely African couple took me under their wing when I asked them for help.
We sat together waiting for our connecting flight and behind us there was speculative conversation about the black guy in handcuffs.
Once again I asked did anyone know him ? Once again there was silence but after a moment I was asked what was my concern and business. I said ” This man has done no one harm and shouldn’t be in handcuffs as the crime was the Irish Governments in the way they treated refugees”
Finally we were all allowed on the flight and He the refugee was marched to a seat. Then the handcuffs came off and the Gardai disembarked. Finally we could sit together like an normal couple as if we were going on holiday. Holiday it sure wasn’t and nice guy he didn’t turn out to be but that’s for a future blog