It worth more to know that the Egyptian Polices; and boarding pass workers had been committing crimes against international travelers in the Egyptian Cairo International Airport. This torturing of individuals had been going on and no much more report has ever been received either from those who were tortured or by the other travelers. It has been known that violence (detaining, torturing and looting of individuals’ materials) against ordinarily travelers has been a constant factor throughout the years in this Islamic State.
On Feb 17 2009, I flown from Khartoum international Airport to Egyptian International Airport. As I arrived at 10:00PM at night making flight connection to London, I went through the same boarding pass workers whom I met when I first went to Khartoum on January 22/09. We all stood on the line waiting. While on the line, there were many different people, culturally. I stood next to the four people online. Among those boarding pass workers, one of the female workers looks at me steadily without changing her eye on me or looks around as if she knew me before. I thought it was normal or it’s perhaps her cultural behavior to look at the people steadily. After two people went through the checking line, one person left in front of me while facing the girl. I thought she can call the man on the first line, but her tension was on me.
While other workers were busy handling and checking other travelers, she was asked to why she stops checking the people. The girl whom I could rarely recognized because her body is not visible due to the fact that she wore Islamic uniform refused to call the man in front of me. Then we got called by the other workers to come on. She stopped me and told me, I will take care of you. I stopped and wait. She took about 15 minutes while other passengers were moving toward the waiting area, waiting for the flight connections.
After all passengers went through, I left on the line alone. She looked around and asked me “where are you going?” I told her that I am going to Canada through London. Again she asked “what is your nationality?” I also answered her that I am Canadian. She took my passport on my hand and asked me to sign a white paper without looking at my picture on the passport or my signature first. I knew that this Egyptian boarding pass worker is going to put me into trouble with no reason. In a few minutes later, she called her colleagues; and then they spoke and looked at me. I could hardily hear them talking because they were talking and using Arabic language. After they finish checking and looking at my passport together, they came to me and told me “sit here until you are told to come and don’t move.” I sat calmly on their small bench waiting for them to call me. I couldn’t go anywhere and I couldn’t talk to any person.
When the time for flight connections approached, I stood up and walked toward one of them. Instead of talking to me, a police man appeared and told me to go with him. I couldn’t ask why because he looked as if he will shoot me right a way. We went through dark area and after some minutes, he hit me right on my back and kicked me. Telling me in Arabic, go quickly. I ran with the final speed, knowing that he is there behind me with his short gun and a black stick. My ears open and I couldn’t miss any word in Arabic as if I knew it before.
After we reached the police center and the jail, I saw a bunch of polices standing and sitting in their small offices. The Polices stood up in numbers, looking at me. There, I could only recognize the ranks of Captain. The Captains look like drug dealers while their private polices act like street Gangs.
The Police in the front door of the jail asked me to stop. They check my pockets and asked me “where is your luggage.” I told them that I have only my hand bag with me when I arrived. My luggage was on the airplane (Two bags full of clothes). They asked themselves in Arabic about where the other police put my hand bag to. One of the police among them told them in Arabic, and I knew that he told them where about because they all said “Ay wa.”
Instead of asking me about how many things are in my hand bag, they just thrown me to the jail. The jail was the very crowded jail where many people were arrested for one reason that “it’s not your passport.” They all laughed after me, and making joke on me.
In the jail, I sat down on the floor and than a guy came to me. He told me that you sat on the water. I couldn’t even feel that I sat on dirt floor with water. My white suit and shirt on me look dirty and different. You can easily recognize me that I am a man in trouble at the point.
I sat down tirelessly, and then all black people came to me in the jail. I asked them, why are you here? They all said “it’s the same reason.” I knew that they were in the same book with me. They were so hungry, looking for something to eat; but the Polices could not give them anything. Instead, they were even looking for the dirty clothes on us to be looted.
Among the prisoners in the jail were about seven people from Eritrea, Six to seven were from Switzerland who went to vacation/holiday in Ghana (but they were originally Ghanaians having the Switzerland passports). There was one Ethiopia girl whom I found crying that her jewelries and Ethiopia Birr were stolen by the Polices. She couldn’t sit crying in the jail loudly.
Four hours later, I was called by the Polices and they told me to “follow” them. I couldn’t predict where we were going or heading. We went back to the boarding pass area, and met with a man who called himself Dan. Dan said that he is “working with Canadian border services agency in Canada embassy in Cairo.” I smile thinking that I found conservative Canadian, but it turns out that the man is half Egyptian and half Canadian based on my observations.
He took my picture and asked me to give him my I.Ds. I gave him all my identity cards. Among those I.Ds were.
1. Canadian Citizenship card. 2. University Identity card (Concordia University Identity card). 3. Social Insurance Card. 4. My Master card. 5. My health coverage card 6. My health Care I.D. 7. My wife metro Student I.D that happened to be in my wallet. Etc…
While Dan was looking and checking my picture and signature, the girl was urging him that you can write me a good recommendation so that she will give it to her supervisor or whatsoever. I knew that this prostitute was risking me for just benefits and gains she may get from her office.
After a long standing of interview, Dan poorly denied me that you are not a Canadian. I was so mad and shock for the man who pretend himself to work and protect Canadian citizens outside the Canadian borders/territories. At that point, I knew that I am in big trouble. They took all my I.Ds without giving them back to me. They called me, you are a thief! The Polices ordered me to follow him quickly. We went back to the police center/jail. I was walking in a distant faster than him because I know that they are going to beat me right a way. They thrown me back and kicked me on my back. I couldn’t do anything in response to this beating against me. There in the jail, I couldn’t find a place to sit. It’s all dirty, wety and no space. I sat in the same dirt place where I been told that the floor is wet.
To me, sitting in dirty and wet place was better than standing up. Few minutes later, the Police called me again and interviewed me. They asked me that “you must tell us why you are trying to leave your country to go to Canada.” I told them frankly without fear that I knew no other country rather than Canada. Two guys came to me and punched my ears while the ugly Police Captain was talking to me. They beat me more and more while asking me to agree that I am a Sudanese. I can’t say I am Sudanese because I never had any Sudanese I.Ds, given the fact that I was born in the war zone region of South Sudan where there was no birth record even, no hospitals and so forth. The polices had thrown me back to the jail with more kicks on my back.
On the next day, one Police man came to me and told me that you will be deported back to your country. I asked him, Canada! He laughed at me and told me that “you are crazy.” After some minutes, a group of Ghanaians were deported back. Then they came to me and tied up my hands. We went to the door and wait for the bus to take us to the Airplane. I couldn’t even image where I am going. They take me in and talk to the pilots. I was put in the chair and than other guy was assigned to look at me. I asked the people who sat beside me that where are we going? They said “we are going to Sudan, Khartoum.” I said Okay, thinking that the situation would change, but wait…..
Early in the morning, we arrived in the Khartoum international Airport. The security came in and asked me if I have anything in the plane. I asked him that asks the pilot if my materials are brought with me. The pilot gave me my back. It was so empty and light. I knew that they took all my intellectual materials ( Lab-top, Video camera, Sonny camera, Cell phone, Sudanese money/pounds and all papers with exception of my BA degree certificate in the hand-bag).I asked them where are my luggage (two bags)? They couldn’t even answer me. They took me out directly to the security office. I thought that they will recognize me as a man born in the Sudanese region, but they twisted the problem, calling “me you are spy.” Instead of asking me why I been returned back, they just asked me to provide all things I been reporting to Canada or USA governments since the time I was in Khartoum. The situation was so intense and they can’t talk to me. They came one after another and look at my eye without questioning.
On those days, it was the time ICC was about to announce the final decision about President Al Bhasir. All Foreigners were prohibited to walk on streets, given the fact that they were considered as people who leak out the information about Darfur and accuse President Al Bashir as a war criminal. The security agent decided to take me to their head Quarter. They tied up my legs, and put me on their truck. We went quickly and I couldn’t even see where we were going because the car was running faster and faster.
There, we reached the Security agent head office. They investigated me about what I been doing in Khartoum. I told them that I came here to visit my relatives whom I had separated for long. They couldn’t even believe me. They investigated and asked me about the Canadian policy toward Sudan. I told them that Canada is a neutral government. I explained to them that Canada and USA are separate governments with different policies. Because they only knewn that Canada is a State in the USA, they couldn’t even believe the facts that I told them. They kept me there under serious investigations. After three days, they release me on conditions that I must leave the town immediately. Sudanese security personel use to wear casual clothes and they walk normally like ordinary citizens on street.
When they released me, I ran quickly with only my passport in my hand and my hand bag. Few minutes later, I saw some of them following me. I take the bus with one of the guy who knows the place of Canadian embassy. We arrived at the door and the security persons arrived within a minutes after us. The Guard in the gate of the Embassy opened the door because I had shown them my passport. I went in to the representative with the other guy, but told to sit where the guards were sitting. I gave my passport to one of the tall man, a man I believed to be a Conservative Canadian. I felt like I got home. I explained to him the situation that happened to me. He was so kind and advised me that your passport will be checked. He told me that “if it’s not your passport, I will not give it back to you.” I thought that they will give me some money or give me a room to sleep. He told me to sat down for a minutes and went back to his office.
In the reception, there was a man who was rejected to come back to Canada (I believe he is Sudanese by birth, North Sudanese regionally). He has his own Koran text book in his hand, reading and reading, and reading. He told me that he is a Canadian. I thought we the two Canadian citizens should be accommodated equally by the gentleman in charge, but you know what! a man with his own Koran text book in his hand was better then the man with his own bible in his hand.
Hence, I knew that those who work in foreign nation only respect the people who are close to the ruling leader, culturally. I was told to leave the area and I know that those security persons must be around the gate. Unfortunately, I found no one at the gate. They all left. I walked quickly thinking that I will get the man who shown me the embassy, but I didn’t get him there. Outside the gate, I found a man from my birth region. I explained to him that I need your help. A kind man on earth decided to accommodate me in his own local house where children and adult sleep in the same room. It was quite better though the home was very close to street. I stay for five days in the gentleman’s house waiting for my passport result.
Early in the morning on Thursday, the Embassy office called me that “come and take your passport.” I was so relieved and ran to collect my passport. I asked the gentleman in the embassy that he can help me or loan me some money because I don’t have ticket to Canada. All my tickets went vacancies free and the Egypt Airline could not provide me with another ticket. The man told me that “he is leaving on Friday to visit his family because some one was sick or his mom died.” He told me that I can come back next two week so that he can ask the government of Canada to provide me with some money/loan. I decided to leave the Embassy, leaving the man who was rejected not to go to Canada in the reception. I went to call my relatives in the USA and Canada to help me to get the tickets from Khartoum to London and then from London to Canada. They provided me with some money and soon I got a ticket from Khartoum through Doha to London.
While waiting for the flight day, the two security agent kidnapped me again on street. They took me to the place they called 105 in Arabic. They locked me on the cell where you can’t sleep. It’s a small room where you can only stand up and sit down without moving your body. It looked like it was underneath of the ground. I stay there for some more days and then came the announcement that all foreigners must leave Khartoum in 24 hours. It was about March 04/09. They released me quickly and told me that we don’t want to see you in the town again. I ran to the same house of my friend. He used to take me to the garden so that I sit there until the sun set. In the garden, I can hear their voices on street shouting that “ya, ya Al Bhasir, ya, ya Al Bhasir!” “President, President Al Bhasir!” I couldn’t sit well because my ears collect different sounds as if they were heading to the garden.
On March 07/09, I went to Airport to go to london. The Sudanese security in the Airport detained me and prevented me not to leave. They asked me how did you enter when you were brought back from Egpyt? I explained to them that I was received by the Security agent on the Airplane, and they took me to their own route which I could not tell. Their main concern was that my passport was not sealed when I return from Cairo and therefore should never allow me to travel back until further investigation is carried on. My ticket went vacancy free again from Khartoum to doha. The Sudanese security people asked me to leave the Airport and told me to come back tommorrow to check their units about what happened.Early in the mroning, I went to renew the ticket again from the Airline agent and decide to go to Airport again. I was lucky afterall that they found those Security persons who brought me out from the Airplane when I was brought back from Egpyt. I went to the Airport at 2:00 PM and started the process. It was the busiest day because all foreigners were evacuating the town with a big threat behind. The Warrant arrest of the President! People thought that the president will turn his anger to the foregners and therefore, every one fears what the respond of the President would be in some days/minutes.
On March 08/09, I flight to Doha and then to London. Arriving at the London Heathrow Airport early in the morning, I breathed thinking that I am almost there, but not yet. The British home Land security agent detained me and asked me “why you missed your ticket on February 18/09 to Canada through New York?” Because when I went to Sudan on January 21/09, I had two separate tickets. The first ticket was from Canada to London by Delta Airline (ETKT # 0062167251288), and then the other ticket was from London through Egypt to Khartoum by the Egyptian Airline. Because I was detained first in Egypt on my return ticket on Feb 17/09, all tickets went vacancy free.
From 6:00 Am, the British homeland security agent detained me and investigated me for the whole day. I provided all information to them that I was arrested in Egypt and then again arrest in Sudan when the Egyptian authority deported me back to Sudan. I showed them my missed ticket from London through New York to Canada. But their big concern was “why did I go to Sudan in the first place and what activities had I been doing in Khartoum?” I brief them that I went to visit my relatives whom I had missed for many years. After serious investigation, they decided that they will send me back to Khartoum. I couldn’t explain how I felt when I heard the woman saying to me that they will send me back. The woman knew very well that I am a Canadian, given to the fact that I spoke Canadian English and she has seen my documents. She went and then a man came and interviewed me again. After all investigations and interview, a man finally released me at 6:00PM while I already missed the flight in the morning to New York. I stayed in the Heathrow Airport for the whole night sitting on the bench in the Airport.
My ticket from London to Canada through New York was valid, but they told me that you will be charged with $250 USD because you missed the flight. The issue of money at that point was not a problem because everything was arranged by my relatives, colleagues, friends and family from USA and Canada, but getting through was the harder thing I ever imagined.
Early in the morning, I went to Delta Airline to pay the charge. They gave me my ticket and boarding pass to go to Canada through New York, and Utah. I couldn’t smile yet. We booked and board everything to New York on March 9/09. We arrived in the New York and then proceed to Utah. I thought I can make it to Canada that day, but our flight delayed due to the bad weather condition on Air. We arrived late at Utah Airport and found out that we missed the flight from Utah to Edmonton International Airport.
The Airline agent told us that you missed your flight 40 minutes ago. I went to Ramadan Hotel and rent a room from 8:00PM – 12:00PM in the Afternoon on the other day. I slept from that o’clock and wake up at 11:30 Am March 10/09. The room cleaner came to me and told me that you must sign out at 12:00PM. I signed out and went to Airport waiting for my flight from Utah to Edmonton, Alberta.
After we boarded our flight, I smile and knew that I be in the Canadian soil right after some hours. We landed in the Edmonton International Airport and went directly to the luggage area. I couldn’t imagine that I will make it back given to all circumstances that cost me a lots. Since I came back from Africa, I never feel good because of this hard situation I been through. I spent more than six months now without doing anything and now I decided to find a satisfy lawyer to sue this case and address it to whom it May concern. If you have any experience or may help in directing me with this case, your help is kindly needed.
Recently, I have been informed that Egyptian Government is going to open an unfinished Canal in the South Sudan region (Jonglei), a region where I was born. Failure to success in this court case, I would wanted to risk my life and revenge on any possible way I could since I lost much of my money because of their unwise decision ( including Dan) of detaining a true Canadian citizen.
I would also like to inform the Egyptian government that I arrived in the Canadian soil where laws are on everything. I am alive though I am not feeling healthy for your mistreatment you have done on me. All materials and my Canadian I.Ds including money you have stolen will not give you anything. You might keep them on your file, but it isn’t finish yet. It’s something that worth to fight for the whole life. The international community, tourists and travelers must also take this caution seriously and advise that if you are not going directly to Egypt, you must avoid using the flight connection through Egypt for they are the worse human on earth. Their Police officers look like drug dealers and their private polices act like the street Gangs. You must also know that having two separate tickets is a problem. You must always make sure that your flight connections are connected properly.
Finally, my thank goes to my family, relatives, colleagues and friends who had contributed financially and through ideas during the time I was in trouble. My special thanks go to Martha Tut, Banak Madieng, Nhial Chuol Tut, Thiay Liah, Daniel Buom Met, Francis Chagai Bol, Ker Biel and Jane Ananias. Without your present in North America, I would have lost my life in the dusty city those days. God will help you for your successful contributions of Ideas and financial help you had done to me.
God bless you!
If you have any question, you can reach me at email@example.com or call 780 729 3401/780 424 1219.
Peter Reat Gatkuoth www.peterreat.blogspot.com Edmonton, Alberta.