Emmanuel Fosso Someon Chedjou, a 47-year-old Cameroonian, has been the victim of a treatment that brings tears to his eyes. He was wrapped in a plastic film like a parcel at the Turkish airport and sent back to Cameroon. “The officers emptied his 2,400 euros in cash.”
Emmanuel Fosso was caught with a fake transit visa at the Turkish airport. Then, he was wrapped in rolls of the plastic film due to his turbulence behaviors and put on a plane for deportation from Turkey. Videos of the incident (onboard a Turkish Airlines flight) that went viral on social media have sparked a wave of outrage.
The first video shows the moment when Emmanuel Fosso started protesting against his expulsion. The scene was filmed by his girlfriend, who was not far away. The second clip shows how three men begin to remove the plastic film from his torso after some of the passengers on board the aircraft intervened. “A black man wrapped and smothered in film paper like a parcel! A serious violation of human rights. This inhumane scene takes place onboard a Turkish Airline,” said Abel Augustin on twitter.
Emmanuel Fosso Someon Chedjou had been handcuffed using black plastic straps at the wrists and handcuffs at the ankles. On top of this, his clothes were covered with layers of plastic film. When Contacted by the editorial staff of the Observateur de France 24, Emmanuel Fosso, a shoe dealer in Douala, explained how the incident happened.
Fake transit Visa
According to Someon, “I wanted to go to Dubai with my girlfriend to buy a stock of shoes and I called a travel agency to prepare everything“. Then “it was my first time, and I realized too late that I had been scammed,” he sounds terrifying. Unfortunately for him, “the flight to Dubai passed through Istanbul with an 8-hour stopover, and it was January 21st.”
“When we arrived, my girlfriend stayed in the transit zone, and I wanted to get out of the airport to run an errand, as our waiting time was very long. When I arrived at the passport control, I was told that my transit visa was a fake, and I was arrested.”
The Cameroonian was taken to a kind of detention center, where he found his girlfriend, who had been arrested in the meantime. “They took away my phone and asked me to sign some papers that I couldn’t read because they were in Turkish. I also asked to speak to a lawyer and the officers who were there refused. I didn’t know precisely who these officers were, whether they were policemen, gendarmes, or security guards. They were not wearing uniforms.”
“Two days later, they wanted to deport me for the first time, on January 23rd. I protested that I wanted to continue my journey to Dubai, and the officers beat me. Once I got on the bridge of the plane, I protested again and shouted. At that point, the crew and the pilot of Turkish Airlines came out and refused to take me on board. They asked for me to be taken care of by the UNHCR.”
“I continued to suffer beatings and threats to return to my country. On 28 January, at about 1 p.m., they came to pick me up to repatriate me on a flight to Yaoundé, Cameroon. I protested again, and this time, they put me in a particular room. There were about ten officers and they put several of them there to restrain me. First, they put plastic straps on my feet and wrists and then real metal handcuffs. Then they filled my mouth with handkerchiefs and taped it shut.”
“Finally, they took two large rolls of plastic film, the kind used in airports to wrap suitcases. They put layers and layers on me from neck to toe, so it was impossible to move. At that point, I started to have trouble breathing. Three of them put me in a wheelchair and took me on a plane to Yaoundé. Inside, they carried me like a parcel to my seat.”
“When the passengers were all settled, and there were about 15 minutes left before take-off, I managed to spit out the tissues that were stuck in my mouth, and I was able to shout for help. The passengers reacted immediately when they saw me and protested against being freed of all this plastic. My companion was on the plane; she saw me like this and took two videos to keep evidence.”
“My clothes had torn when I was fighting with the police, and I asked to get my hand luggage back to change.”
According to Emmanuel Fosso Someon Chedjou, “in the pocket of my ripped jeans, which I had left on my seat, there were 2,400 euros in cash that I had taken to trade in Dubai. When the officer returned the trousers to me, the pockets were empty”.