This is the second part in a series of posts about a friend of mine seeking religious asylum in the West. Part I is here.
A different officer came to speak with us. His name is B. He was God’s man in our story. Gently B. said, “Please guys, help us so we can help you. All we want is the truth,” then he went away. A third officer came to take us to get our bags. He opened each one of them and checked every single item. He kept my papers, documents, phonebook and my mobile phone, then he took us to a holding area. The holding area was a secured place with iron doors and angry faces. We waited for five minutes then B., the friendly officer, arrived. He took us to an office where he registered our names, nationalities, date of birth and the country of our departure. He also took our fingerprints. He asked, “What are you running away from?” We told him the main points of our story, then he said “You will be held while we check that your documents are not fake.”
We were taken to another small room where my wife was thoroughly searched. As I was waiting for my turn, an older female officer spoke with me. I was struggling to keep a grip on myself so my wife wouldn’t see me cry, but once the older woman asked me why we were here I broke down. I couldn’t stop crying. She said, “Don’t worry brother. I am a Christian and I will be praying for you both.” Then it was my turn to be searched.
When it was over, we were offered something to eat and drink. We declined. Back in the detention hall, it was cold and silent. A TV was on with the sound turned down. Time passed so slowly. We had no idea what was going to happen next. After about an hour, they took us to a clinic in the airport where x-rays were taken and we were asked some medical questions. When we were finished there, we went back to the detention hall.
Hours crawled by. My wife was shivering from the cold. I asked the security guard if they could adjust the temperature in the hall. Instead, he gave us each a large sheet of some kind of paper to cover ourselves with. We tried it, but my wife was getting worse. I asked if she could be moved to somewhere warmer. I was afraid that she might be getting sick. The guard replied rudely , “She’s sick? She should’ve stayed home! Why did she come here!” I hugged her closely and tried to warm her up. Then they called for me.
to be conintued…