France 24’s L’Observateurs has provided insight into the case of a Cameroonian , showed in a video on social media bundled on board a Turkish Airlines flight.
The 47 year old shoe dealer, Emmanuel Fosso Chedjou it was revealed witnessed the ordeal on January 21 with videos later surfacing of him being wrapped in plastic, gagged and forced on the plane.
“By carefully watching the video series, it is clear that the man is handcuffed with black plastic straps at the wrists and handcuffs at the ankles. Above, his clothes were added several layers of plastic film, consolidated with large transparent tape” France 24 reports.
After the ordeal, Emmanuel, the team says was tracked down by them, providing more details on the incident.
“I wanted to go to Dubai with my partner to buy a stock of shoes and I called on a travel agency to prepare everything. It was my first time and I realized too late that I had been ripped off.
The flight to Dubai was passing through Istanbul (Turkey)” L’Observateurs quotes him saying.
“When we arrived my partner stayed in the transit area and I wanted to go out of the airport to go shopping, since our waiting time was very long. When I got to passport control, I was told that my transit visa was a fake and I was arrested. I was taken to a sort of detention center and I found my partner there who had been arrested in the meantime” Emmanuel is quoted further.
“My phone was confiscated and I was asked to sign papers that I could not read since they were in Turkish. I also asked to speak to a lawyer and the officers who were there refused.
I did not know exactly who these officers were, whether they were police, gendarmes or security agents. They weren’t wearing uniforms.
Two days later, they wanted to deport me for the first time, on January 23. I protested that I wanted to continue my trip to Dubai and the officers hit me …” L’Observateurs report adds.
After days of hardship, he later “arrived in Abuja during the night of January 30-31 and a lady I met on the plane helped me organize my trip by car to my home. I arrived home on February 4 [two weeks after arriving in Turkey]” The report states.
“Between the travel agency that scammed me and what happened in Istanbul, I lost about 7 million CFA francs, or 10,590 euros. With this failure, I therefore not only lost my capital but I also lost all credibility in my community. No one wants to trade with me anymore. I want to denounce the Turkish Airlines company and these officers who humiliated me. Today I want to be compensated and, if possible, I will file a complaint” Emmanuel told France 24
“He provided several documents to our editorial office to prove … he was expelled from Istanbul airport. Our editorial team was also able to chat with six passengers who were at his side in the airport detention center. All of them gave testimony that was consistent with his” L’Observateurs team notes, adding that “Two women, one Congolese and the other Cameroonian, confirmed to us that African nationals were treated differently. A Ukrainian passenger briefly detained at the same location confirmed to us that he had been able to keep his cell phone in the detention center”.
Many have since spoken against Turkish Airlines, with some going as far as calling for a boycott of the airline.