Iranian family’s repeated attempts to cross the English Channel

Ahmad Ali, is an irregular migrant from Iran. Speaking to news agency itv, Ahmad said he has been living in Calais, France, with his wife and two children while attempting to cross the English Channel to his destination, the United Kingdom (UK).  

On their first attempt, they were stopped on the beach by French police. On their second attempt, their boat began to sink shortly after departure and they were forced to swim back to France.

On their third attempt, they travelled about 10 kilometres on a fishing boat before they were intercepted by border police.

Ahmad now says he will not try to get to the UK by boat again because it is too dangerous and difficult for his daughter to manage. She has now seen a psychologist to help manage her distress.

“Now my daughter is not normal, not good,” he said. “She’s (in a) very bad situation, she feels not good at all and the doctor told me we need to take good care of her because she doesn’t feel good because she’s lonely, she doesn’t have any friends, no school, no child to play with or have the same language to talk.”

Doctors had recommended for the family to be put up in temporary accommodation. In a few days, however, the family will be forced to move again.

Speaking to the Press Association, Ahmad said the family is “frightened” about having to return to hiding in the woods. “We have no home, but there is no other choice – we are forced to go back,” he said. Ahmad is not applying asylum in France as he is afraid of being returned to Denmark under the Dublin Regulation, where his claim for asylum for converting to Christianity has been rejected.

Clare Moseley, who works for charity Care4Calais said this is not uncommon in Europe. “We are ending up more and more now with people wandering around Europe who haven’t been able to claim asylum (successfully) but are stopped from making a further claim because of the Dublin laws,” she said.

TMP – 23/02/2019

Photo credit: shutterstock

Photo caption: An informal camp in Calais in France