Friday, April 12, 2024

Modou Lamin Dibba Calls for Immediate Addressing of Inequality and Indignity Faced by Migrants at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

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By: Sainabou Gassama

Muhammed Lamin Dibba, a Gambian currently pursuing his Master’s Degree at The Geneva Graduate Institute, has urged Schiphol authorities to issue an immediate apology while demanding global solidarity for the protection and respect of migrants’ dignity, irrespective of their race or nationality.

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Dibba recounted experiencing discrimination and dehumanization under the guise of national border security at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on May 30, 2023, while departing for Geneva, Switzerland.

Despite passing through security machines without incident, Dibba said he endured an extensive physical search by customs officials while bleeding internally and externally.

He described being instructed to surrender his passport, remove his shoes, and endure further intrusion into his person by officials, actions not applied uniformly to white or European passport-holders.

“Despite the ordeal I endured, they proceeded to thoroughly inspect my backpack, finding nothing, despite my insistence that I have never used or been in possession of cocaine, marijuana, or tobacco in my life,” he stated.

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Dibba emphasized the need for the Netherlands to find a balance between preserving human dignity and ensuring national security, citing E. Tendayi Achiume’s book “Migration as Decolonization” (June 2019).

He criticized the treatment of African migrants in the West, particularly in the Netherlands, as a violation of Article 13 of the United Nations Charter and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.

“I grew increasingly frustrated and questioned why I was singled out for such an intrusive search. Their response was unsatisfactory,” Dibba said.

He called not only for an apology from the Netherlands but also for fair treatment of migrants, urging global support and solidarity with millions of Africans routinely subjected to bigotry and discrimination at Western airports.

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