Monday, May 20, 2024

‘I fled to Ireland from Britain to avoid being deported to Rwanda’

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Those who aren’t lining up mill around, many wearing no more than flip flops, T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms, waiting to be told if today is the day they get an appointment or chance of accommodation.

Father of two Mohammed Alsafe, 47, a Palestinian painter who fled the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, came from the UK to Dublin two months ago having stayed in London for just a day. He arrived in England on a small boat across the Channel having made his way from Jordan to France.

He took a ferry to Belfast, where he made contact with a Northern Irish man via social media and paid him to take him across the border to Dublin.

“I saw him on Facebook, I pay him €4,300 to take me from Belfast to Dublin. That man tells me: ‘Give me money and come here. I gave him money in Belfast,” said Mr Alsafe. “I don’t know where I was going, I am in the car boxed up. I don’t see where I am going. I didn’t know what, I didn’t see anything.”

He added: “I need to live. There were no visas in Belfast. In the UK there are no visas. The Government it maybe makes you go to Rwanda. I see it on the news and on social media. I think the UK Government will pay for you to go to Rwanda. Rwanda is not good.”

Sri Lankan Adhi A, 23, who arrived in Dublin from the UK on March 20, said: “Everyone is coming here now because maybe they are scared about going to the African country (Rwanda).”

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