Kenyan activist, family spends night in French Airport benches
With the recent influx of refugees increasingly witnessed in Europe, Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi, and his family, found himself in the centre of controversy after they were allegedly detained in Paris by French authorities.
Mwangi took to his official social media pages to share his experience where he says they were detained for lack of Schengen visas – a special type of visa issued to non Europeans which allows them to move around the countries.
He says he left New York on Tuesday, with his family, but missed their connection flight to Kenya due to a delay. However, Air France issued them with new tickets to fly home via Amsterdam.
“We found ourselves detained for three hours by the border police in Paris while trying to get the connection via Amsterdam,” he said
“My family didn’t have Schengen visas but the airline gave us the Amsterdam tickets anyway. Apparently we couldn’t transit without Schengen visas but the Air France ground crew never bothered to let us know that.”
He added: “So three hours later in the border police unit (where I had to be escorted to use the toilet, which doesn’t lock) they gave us new boarding passes for a flight leaving the following day.”
“We went to the Air France office after the police station ordeal with another Kenyan, Evelina Olago, who said they would offer us a hotel for the night, only to come back and inform us that the police said we couldn’t leave the airport.”
The activist and his family were forced to spend the night on benches at the airport’s waiting lounge; after which they left for Kenya on Friday morning.