Since I have promised to publish e-mails of all people seeking for help and support, I have decided to publish an appeal of one passenger who is currently trapped at Dubai International Airport.
On his first letter I’ve responded with my wish that everything will be resolved in the best way for him. But he is still at the airport in, apparently, bad physical condition, so I will publish his story because every human being and every passenger (inadmissible or not) has rights which need to be respected in order for humans to deserve their humane name.
Mr. Edgar was travelling from Europe to Australia via Dubai. He was proclaimed inadmissible in Australia and put on the next flight back to Dubai, where he is stuck now because EK security took his passport in order to make him pay for his return ticket home. Mr. Edgar is living at the airport for couple of days now, he doesn’t have access to his personal documents or his baggage and he doesn’t have the money to pay his return ticket home. Emirates Airline managers don’t want to release him until he pays for his deportation.
This is the initial comment that Mr. Edgar wrote on my blog, seeking for help:
My name is Edgar xxx, 31 years old , hungarian citizen. I was on my way to visit Brisbane, Australia on the 7th of december this year, when the whorst nightmare that I could dream of began, without me realizing that… On my arrival, a lady from Immigration stoped me and begun asking me all kind of questions, about my visit in their Country. They probably didn’t like my passport and also didn’t want to believe me when I was telling them that I was actually intending to visit a friend over there and It should have been a surprize…so they decied that they have a surprize for me also: that is Canceling my visa and sending me home the next day.
After I have been kept 8 hours in an interogation room , like some sord of a criminal , they sent me to a deportation facility ,where they keep people, who are about to be sent home to their country. At 9 pm the next day , they sent for me, and they said that ,I will be sent home . Before putting me on the plane ,a lady called “Jo” ,from Emirates Airlines office, from Brisbane , asked me if I have money to pay for the return ticket, to wich I answered that I don’t have enaugh founds. She said, that it’s no problem, they (Emirates)will pay for the ticket anyway. After my arriving to Dubai International , where I should of had a connection later that day to Bucharest, an agent from Emirates picked me up from the Airplane , kept my documents with him in an anvelope and esocrted me to their office ( EK INAD/DEPO HANDLING OFFICE – transfer desk “J” , Dubai International Airport ,Terminal 3). They showed me a bill that I supposed to pay: it was the ticket from Brisbane , untill Dubai. So they lied to me, they were not going to pay for my ticket .
The intresting part of the story starts only now : When I told them, that I cannot pay for the ticket, because I don’t have the money, they said that ,it’s no problem, they will keep me here, they will give me food, and I can LIVE here, untill I pay them the return ticket. And they were saying this very ironicly, with a big wide smile on their face …At the begining I thought that they are just trying to scare me and when they will realize, that I don’t have the money to pay the ticket, they will send me home. But it turnes out, that I was very wrong….two days have passed since I arrived, and practically I’ m living on the terminal ,just like in that movie with Tom hanks ” The Terminal “….people are allready saluting me , staff members I mean, who see me walk around every day…they give me food vouchers 2-3 times a day so I can go and eat at the fast foods from the Terminal ,but except that I’m practically living on my own here . The Hungarian Consul called them and tried to convince them to give me back my passport at least ,so that I can fly home, but they are refusing to do that , wich after everyone’s opinion is against my human rights. How can they retain my passport when they are just a company (Emirates) ,not any kind of autority , like Police , Immigration, etc ….I even tried getting back my passport wit the Police , and even them , cannot do anything ,because legaly they are protected(Emirates)
It seems like ,that I will be living on the Terminal for a long time, because they decided to keep me here, untill I will pay , so considering that I don’t have the money to pay the ticket , I will be living on Dubai International Airport. What’s next ? Me searching for a job on the Terminal ?! …
It is absolutely incredible what is happening to me…even my friends from home said that this is a story, that should make the Evening news…but who cares about one person in such a big Airport, and in such a Famous City….outside these walls, life continues to go on naturally. I wonder what I need to do , so that someone observes my situation and really does something about it ?
Or maybe , I will be spending Christmas together with the staff of Emirates ?… that would be hard to forget right?
I hope my voice , more exactly my words are being red by the right person, someone who still has some human responsability and tryies to make a difference in our society….OR we can just close our eyes, and lift our shoulders , because it’s not our problem…
the moble number of their office (where my case can be checked) is :
their email: firstname.lastname@example.org
you will find a photo attached with me and other 6 person with similar problems, who are practically living in EK Office’s waiting room on this Terminal
I’ve asked Edgar for detailed information and he sent me following two e-mails:
Hi !well it makes me smile and also a little bit sad,when you say that it’s a little bit science fiction …because I AM living it right now. I allready made a picture with me and the people stuck in there last night , (even without you asking me to do that …) I will send that to you and also a picture with me in the same place with a paper, wich I have made to your request. I don’t know if it’s today’s paper, because we don’t really live in a hotel right now to get daily paper, but there is one here…so I can do what you asked me to…Also regarding australia , I had a return ticket booking for the 19th dec, you will find that attached also , and I asked my travel agency to cancel it as soon as I found out that I will be put on next day flight…so that I don’t loose the money for that also, because It would have been with different airline companies. Anyway, this is not about Australia here …it’s about the situation ,here on Dubai Airport….Australia initially demanded that I will be sent home , not to Dubai, but a lady who is manager here at EK Emirates, demanded that ,that I should be sent only this far and force me to pay the ticket….so it’s a very wrong thing that they did and still keep on doing. My embassy contacted this manager yesterday, tried to convince her for half an hour over the phone….and still no result…they are somehow protected by the law and nobody can do anything to get back my passport..not even the police from the airport…it’s incredible…if I would know who tot talk to, I would ask the news ,or reporters to come here , to see what is happening…this is no sci-fiction….this is happening ..right now, right here….
They don’t let me take my stuff out from my bags. This is why I went even to the police , thinking that they can recover my passport and they really tried….still they couldn’t get back my passport, stating that EK OFFICE is holding my passport legally and no one can do anything about that. And as you mentioned, I refuse to accept that someone can hold on to my passport without me commiting any kind of crime!!
Regarding to your question about why the Immigration refused me to enter Australia, well, believe it or not, I had a Valid visa, I was there 2 months ago and stayed about 3 weeks and after I went back home. So there is no question about it, that I was not intending to immigrate in their country. Also they stated that I have insufficient founds to stay 10 days in their country, because I was not having any cash in my wallet. I have a Mastercard wich I use when I go abroad, so that I don’t have to worry about the exchange currency and me being cheated in any way.
I will not rest untill these people will not pay for what they did and still doing to me as we speak…