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Video Purportedly Shows Refugee Being Physically Abused on Turkish Airlines Flight

New York, NY, USA - November 3, 2013: Boeing 767 Turkish Airlines takes off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on November 3, 2013. Boeing 767 is the largest airplane powered by two engines.

Eyewitnesses say immigration officials in London violently lashed out at the flyer who can be heard sobbing and begging for asylum on the cellphone footage taken by another passenger.

Passengers say a heartbreaking scene unfolded on a Turkish Airlines flight preparing to depart London Heathrow Airport (LHR) for Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) on Saturday. In a just-released video of the incident, a passenger claiming to be a refugee seeking asylum appears to be physically abused by officials while other passengers take out mobile phones to document the disturbing activity.

In footage captured by passenger Ahtzaz Ali, the unidentified refugee does not appear to resist, but can be heard sobbing and screaming for help as he is manhandled by two men believed to be immigration officers.

“There was a man who was clearly upset on board the plane but wasn’t being abusive to the crew or anybody else,” Ahtzaz told The Daily Mail. “All of a sudden, someone who seemed like they were an immigration officer came and started physically abusing the man by slapping him and pushing his face down whilst he was crying and shouting that he wouldn’t be safe going back to Afghanistan.”

According to Ahtzaz, many passengers on the flight were themselves reduced to tears after witnessing the alleged asylum seeker being brutally removed from the plane. Eyewitnesses say that the refugee repeatedly shouted “please” between sobs and begged for his life as he was led from the aircraft.

Immigration authorities declined to address the Saturday incident at LHR specifically, but officials vehemently defended the actions of its officers in more general terms.

“If people are in the country illegally and refuse to leave voluntarily we will take action to remove them,” a Home Office spokesperson told the newspaper. “Whilst it is regrettable that some people become disruptive on removal, we do our utmost to try and minimize any potential impact on the rest of the passengers.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
randomflyer June 22, 2017

Those on the plane were probably unaware that this scene takes place most days on UK flights that have pax being escorted out of the country by authorities after their claims for asylum have been rejected. They have had solicitors on their cases who instruct them quite specifically how to behave and what to plead for and how to make as big a scene up to and including defecating and creating a health and safety issue to get off loaded. They often then are ordered removed by the captain as "unsafe" to proceed. This orchestrated behavior on the part of bogus asylum seekers often results in being removed from the plane--and then their solicitor gets many more attempts to appeal. And they say in the country, as per the point of the scene. A friend who is a eJ captain says he has this all the time on his flights to Turkey and places like that. He tends to go back, assess the situation to get the full picture and he knows the scripts so well that they follow, he ignores them and then takes off. He says as soon as the plane is airborne they shut up, because their act has failed. This screaming and pleading scene is a regular feature these days on flights going to places where bogus asylum seekers are sent back. Nothing to see here....it's UK immigration solicitors coaching points--if they get these guys off the plane, then they don't lose a profitable client and the UK legal payments for this guy keep rolling in until the next time they put him on a plane. Then it's rinse and repeat.. Some have tried this up to 10 times before a pilot finally calls their bluff and takes off..

b.k.komprakriew June 21, 2017

Once I get you up there/ Where the air is rarefied/ We'll just glide/ Starry-eyed

SpartyAir June 20, 2017

This doesn't make sense. The plane is leaving London and heading to Istanbul. The refugee from Afghanistan is illegally in the UK, but he is on a plane leaving the UK. So ... he won't be illegally in the UK anymore. Isn't that what they should want? By pulling him off the plane, they are keeping him in the UK and continuing his illegal status. How did he get in to the UK in the first place? It's an island and would be very difficult for someone from Afghanistan to get into the UK without public transport which would require entry papers to get into the country.

BJM June 20, 2017

The headline and picture makes it seem the abuse is at the hands of Turkish Airlines. Apparently that is not the csse. Perhaps the headline and picture could be updated to better reflect what is being reported.