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Asylum-seeking Djibouti footballer spends week in airport – NewsEverything Africa

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Djibouti internationals Bilal Hassan, Aboubakar Elmi and Nassrodin Aptidon
Djibouti internationals Bilal Hassan, Aboubakar Elmi and Nassrodin Aptidon are in search of political asylum in France

A member of Djibouti’s nationwide soccer group has spent per week in transit at a world airport in Paris after in search of asylum in France.

Nassrodin Aptidon is one among three asylum-seeking Djibouti internationals who went lacking at Orly airport final Friday because the group travelled for a 2022 World Cup qualifier by way of the French capital.

Aptidon’s two colleagues – Bilal Hassan and Aboubakar Elmi – obtained clearance to go away the airport from French authorities on Wednesday following a gathering the goalkeeper needed to miss due to a brief sickness.

He’s anticipating to listen to shortly if he can depart the transit zone on the airport, the place he has spent the final seven days and nights.

Hassan and Elmi, in the meantime, got a 72-hour interval to file documentation to French authorities which may then enable them an additional three months to current their case.

A human rights organisation serving to the footballers fears that each Hassan and Elmi, who work for the Djibouti state, might find yourself in jail ought to they be denied asylum and compelled to return dwelling.

Elmi works for the police service whereas Hassan is claimed to have sought asylum after claiming he was compelled to comply with orders he didn’t need to perform whereas serving in Djibouti’s Republican Guard.

“They’re harassed by the federal government each time they are saying one thing that’s not right,” mentioned Jean-Loup Schaal, president of ARDHD (Affiliation for the Respect of Human Rights in Djibouti).

“Hassan was compelled to do issues he refused to do, like arrest folks from his household. In order that they mentioned it not attainable to proceed to arrest their folks.”

Each Hassan, whose spouse is reportedly within the ultimate phases of being pregnant, and Elmi have wives and households in Djibouti.

The group stopped in Paris after it was not attainable to fly direct to Morocco, the place Djibouti misplaced in opposition to Niger on Monday, from Algeria, the place the group had been thumped 8-Zero by the African champions 4 days earlier.

Algeria minimize diplomatic relations final month with their north African neighbours, who have been solely internet hosting the Niger tie after Djibouti’s nationwide stadium was deemed unfit to host worldwide video games.

Schaal mentioned the gamers instructed him that the heavy nature of Djibouti’s defeat by Algeria prompted fears about what may occur to them upon their return to the East African nation.

After the Djibouti delegation missed their authentic flight from Paris to Morocco due to incorrect documentation regarding each transit visas and Covid exams, the three gamers hatched an escape plan.

When the delegation ultimately departed on the night of Friday three September, the trio have been nowhere to be seen after going into hiding.

“They have been afraid to return to Djibouti having misplaced by a lot,” mentioned Schaal, who visited the gamers whereas they have been caught within the airport. “They didn’t plan this however took the choice whereas in Paris.”

In Transit

Orly Airport, Paris, France

Till the listening to on Wednesday that allowed Hassan and Elmi to go away, all three footballers had been staying in Orly’s transit zone.

“They weren’t allowed to enter France and the one time they went out of the transit zone was to go to a court docket in Creteil,” Schaal defined.

The gamers would spend all day within the airport’s transit space earlier than being taken to a lodge, additionally within the transit zone, to sleep at night time.

If the trio are in the end profitable when presenting their case to French immigration authorities OFPRA, they are going to be allowed to stay in France.

The BBC has sought remark from the soccer federation of Djibouti, a rustic which has by no means certified for both a World Cup or Africa Cup of Nations and which is ranked 182nd by Fifa.

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