Sunday 22 July 2018

Asylum seeker assaulted during Cloverhill prison riot granted bail after three weeks in prison

Afghan refugee Wali Ullah Safi Photo: Adrian Melia
Afghan refugee Wali Ullah Safi Photo: Adrian Melia

Paul Healy

An Afghan man has been granted bail after spending three weeks in prison for failing to produce documentation to gardai.

Wali Ullah Safi (21) appeared before Naas District Court today where he was granted bail on the condition that he found suitable housing by next Monday.

 He was charged under the Immigration Act for failing to produce documentation proving his identity and was remanded in Cloverhill Prison in July.

Mr Safi was assaulted during a prison riot in Cloverhill Prison on July 30.

He was later separated from the other prisoners to keep him safe.

The young man was found on the side of a road in Naas by Gardai earlier in the month after claiming to have fled  from Afghanistan.

How he arrived in the country was not raised in court.

Judge Patrick Clyne said that he would grant Mr Safi bail on the assumption that he would be housed under direct provision.

Mr Safi’s solicitor Conal Boyce said that Mr Safi was “now an asylum seeker who has effectively put himself into the system” last week.

Mr Boyce said that he was working with various organisations who were trying to help house him and that on these conditions he should be granted bail.

Judge Clyne said that “everyone is entitled to bail” as it is a “constitutional right” and he noted that Mr Safi “doesn’t need the grief" of being sent back into custody.

He said that he wanted to grant bail to Mr Safi on the assumption “that direct provision will kick in” and that he would “register with an arm of the state as soon as possible.”

A Garda inspector said that he had no objection to the application for bail, on the condition that Mr Safi signs on at a garda station once a week.

 The asylum seeker now has until Monday August 10 to find housing, where he must then notify gardai within 24 hours.

 From there on Mr Safi will be required to sign on at the nearest garda station once a week.

 He will next appear before the court on September 7, where he is expected to have full documentation of his asylum status and identification.

“My view is that if he has ID, proof of his name and address then that satisfies the requirements,” Judge Clyne said.

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