The Endless Wait
I went to the French asylum court with a friend who has been waiting for a hearing since the jungle closed in October 2016. He was brilliant I was so proud of him. The hearing was at 2pm but he got there at 9am and sat in on three other hearings. He wanted to watch how the procedures went, what kind of questions were asked and to get to know the judge’s style. Pretty smart eh?
His hearing lasted longer than any of the others. This made his lawyer a bit uneasy. They asked him a lot of questions and she said that shows they may have doubts – but he answered them all fully and at least they looked into it properly so I guess it could go either way. Scary.
He is just so happy to have it over with. He said he has not been able to eat or sleep for days. He was very calm and good in court. The lawyer got me to speak to him in advance and explain that although he is a very private person and it is the Sudanese way to endure and not complain, just for today he had to talk about the full details of the bad things that had happened to him. But I know he finds that hard.
I don’t speak French or Arabic so I have no idea what was said but she showed me the medical reports they had obtained that confirmed all the scars and injuries are consistent with his story. There are photographs. Without understanding a word I don’t know how anyone could deny his truthfulness after seeing those photographs. He had many broken bones, stab and burn wounds.
But he still said nothing was as bad as the last 18 months of endless waiting and not knowing if he is safe. We find out in seven days.
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