Emmanuel Fosso Someon Chedjou, a 47-year-old Cameroonian, was the victim of tearful treatment.
It was wrapped in plastic film rolls and shipped on an airplane for expulsion from Turkey. Videos of the incident (aboard a Turkish Airlines flight) that went viral on social media sparked outrage.
A first video shows the moment when Emmanuel Fosso began to protest against his deportation. The scene was filmed by his partner who was nearby.
— Ehuzu Daniel Gbèmènou (@Ehuzud) February 17, 2020
The second video shows how three men begin to remove the plastic film that surrounds his chest after the intervention of certain passengers on board the plane.
Un noir emballé et étouffé dans le papier film comme une colis!
Une violation grave de droits l'homme.
Cette scène inhumaine se passe à bord d'un avion de @TurkishAirlines.@Claudy_Siar @AUC_MoussaFaki @France24_fr @JTAtv5monde @RFIAfrique 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/AImtrnEI8X
— Abel Augustin Amundala 🌍 (@abelamundala) February 17, 2020
The passenger was handcuffed with black plastic straps at the wrists and ankle cuffs. On top of that, his clothes were added layers of plastic film.
Contacted by the editorial staff of the Observateur de France 24, Emmanuel Fosso, a shoe merchant in Douala, told the story.
“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 passed through Istanbul with an 8 hour stopover, it was on January 21. When we arrived my partner stayed in the transit area and I wanted to leave 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, my phone was confiscated and I was asked to sign papers that I could not not read since they were in Turkish.
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. When I got to the gangway, I protested again and shouted. At that time, the crew and the pilot of Turkish Airlines went out and refused to take me on board. They asked that I be taken care of by the UNHCR.
But it has not happened.
I continued to be beaten and threatened to return to my country. At around 1 p.m. on January 28, they picked me up to bring me back on a flight to Yaoundé, Cameroon. I protested again and this time they put me in a special room.
There were a dozen officers and they joined forces to control me. They first put plastic straps on my feet and wrists, then real metal handcuffs. Then they filled my mouth with tissues and closed it with tape.
Finally, they took two large rolls of plastic film, which are used in airports to pack suitcases. They put layers on me and layers from neck to toe, so it was absolutely impossible to move. At that time, I really started to have trouble breathing.
Three of them put me in a wheelchair and took me on a plane that was leaving for Yaoundé. Inside they carried me like a package to my seat.
When the passengers were all seated and there were about 15 minutes before takeoff, I managed to spit out the tissues that were stuck in my mouth and I could cry out for help.
The passengers reacted immediately when they saw me and protested that I be released from all this plastic. My partner was on the plane she saw me so and took two videos to keep evidence.
My clothes were torn when I was fighting with the police and I asked to collect my hand luggage to change my clothes. In the pocket of my ripped jeans, which I had left on my seat, there was 2,400 euros in cash that I had taken to trade in Dubai. When the officer returned the pants to me, the pockets were empty. “