FECL 32 (March 1995):

AIR-PASSENGERS PREVENT DEPORTATION OF ALGERIAN ASYLUM-SEEKER

Algerian asylum-seekers whose application has been turned down, are systematically deported back to their country of origin by German authorities.

Recently, it became known that the Federal Interior Ministry regularly communicates the personal data and the flight dates to the Algerian embassy in Bonn, before putting deportees on the plane. As a consequence, returnees from Germany are often detained and maltreated for weeks by Algerian police upon arrival.

Things did not work as planned in the case of Algerian asylum-seeker Boualem Sadadou. When some inhabitants of the town of Soest (North Rhine-Westphalia), where Mr Sadadou had stayed as an asylum-seeker, learned about his planned deportation, they succeeded in finding out the date and time of departure of the plane to Algeria.

On the day of departure, a delegation of citizens of Soest drove to Dusseldorf airport and distributed leaflets to the passengers who were checking in on the flight: "Please ask your flight captain to refuse the transport of Mr. Sadadou, who is threatened with persecution in Algeria. Mr. Sadadou will thereby get another chance of awaiting a new decision free and alive". The leaflet also contained a picture of Mr. Sadadou and petition lists of various local groups.

The action was a success. Several passengers actually sent a common message to the pilot, saying that the passengers refused to fly, "as long a the Algerian refugee is on board". The flight captain quickly decided that the deportee's presence on board amounted to a safety risk, whereupon Mr Sadadou was removed from the plane.

 

Source: Junge Welt, 9.3.95.