Channel tunnel walker Abdul Haroun gets asylum and is out on bail …
Back in August, Abdul Rahman Haroun, from Sudan, managed to walk the 50km through the channel tunnel from Calais before being caught on the English side and imprisoned facing trial under an obscure 19th century law. His trial is coming up with the next hearing on 18 January. Some good news ahead of the trial: this week Abdul Haroun has been given political asylum and allowed out of prison on bail. It is possible that the charges against him may be dropped; although Eurotunnel is lobbying hard to make sure the trial goes ahead.
The article below is reposted from right-wing corporate press as it has some further information on the case and illustrative comments from the scumbag bosses at Eurotunnel who are pressing for his imprisonment.
An African migrant who was arrested after walking the entire length of the Channel Tunnel has been given permission to stay in Britain. Abdul Rahman Haroun was arrested on August 4 last year as he approached the exit of the tunnel in Folkestone, Kent, after dodging trains speeding past at up to 100mph. The 40-year-old, originally from Sudan in north-east Africa, took around 11 hours to walk the entire length of the 31-mile south-running tunnel from Calais to Folkestone.
He was charged under the Malicious Damage Act 1861 of causing an obstruction to a railway engine or carriage, which carries a maximum two year jail sentence. But at Canterbury Crown Court, Judge Adele Williams heard how the Home Office had granted Mr Haroun refugee status on December 24. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to press ahead with the charge against Mr Haroun, who has been in prison since his arrest.
A spokesman for Eurotunnel, which operates the continental link, said it was disappointed at the developments which it warned could encourage more migrants to enter Britain illegally through the tunnel. Mr Haroun, who has been in prison since his arrest, was later released from HMP Elmley in Kent. Dressed in a green tee-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, he was greeted by three women before being bundled into a car and swiftly driven away from the prison on the Isle of Sheppey.
He was released on conditional bail after appearing in court by video link on the condition that he reports to his local police station once a week and is now believed to have been taken to a safe house in the area. His next hearing will take place on January 18, when prosecutors will decide whether to pursue the charge against him. Philip Bennetts QC, for the CPS, told the court that prosecutors wanted an adjournment to decide whether to proceed with the case in light of the defendant being granted asylum status .
Mr Haroun travelled through north Africa and sailed across the Mediterranean before walking across Europe to get to Calais. When he reached Calais, supporters of Mr Haroun say he climbed four fences, avoided 400 security cameras and walked more than 30 miles underground from Calais to England. Alarms were triggered leading to traffic being suspended for two hours during Mr Haroun s odyssey, causing delays for passengers and freight services.
The trespasser was located near to the tunnel s exit at the Folkestone Terminal at 6.13pm on August 4. Friends of Mr Haroun say he made the journey because Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world it has been afflicted by a series of incompetent and corrupt governments, war, drought, famine and a staggering foreign debt . Eurotunnel said at the time of the incident that it hoped the force of law will be used and justice done to deter other migrants from attempting similar perilous journeys.
Responding to the latest court hearing, a spokesman for the company said: Eurotunnel is disappointed that the court has decided to postpone the prosecution of M Haroun now that he has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom.
He not only caused significant disruption to Eurotunnel and to the many freight and passenger customers travelling at the time, he also put his own life and that of others at risk by his actions.
This decision will only act as an encouragement to other migrants to seek to gain illegal entry to the UK .
- ^ walk the 50km through the channel tunnel from Calais (rabble.org.uk)
- ^ another two men (calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com)