Wednesday 22 November 2017

Stowaway discovered on side of M7 badly injured in Cloverhill riot

The M7 motorway where the stowaway was found
The M7 motorway where the stowaway was found

Sarah Jane Murphy

An asylum seeker badly injured during yesterday's riot in Cloverhill prison is the Afghan man found on the side of the M7 outside Naas two weeks ago.

Walli Ullah (21) was taken hostage by a group of prisoners who subjected him to a severe beating during which his arm was broken and his face slashed with a blade.

Eleven prisoners were taken to hospital after a fight broke out when inmates at Cloverhill Prison refused to return to their cells.

Prison officers with riot shields and batons moved in and forcibly returned the inmates to their cells.

Meanwhile, Anti-Racism Network Ireland (ARN) are calling for Ullah's immediate release, and say that he arrived in Ireland seeking protection, having fled Afghanistan in fear of his life.

Read More: Stowaway discovered on side of M7 with no English, passport or documentation

He claims to have travelled for at least three months, stowed away in a container, in order to reach our shores.

On arrival, he was arrested by authorities due to the fact that he is a non-national and did not have the appropriate identification.

A non-national must produce on demand a passport or ID and failure to do is a criminal offence.

Read More: Inmates in Cloverhill held prisoner hostage during stand-off with staff

His solicitor, Conal Boyce, said that his client cannot speak any English.

"He touches his Koran to his chest quite often. He simply can’t communicate and when he does it’s very hesitantly.

“He first appeared in court in Athy and subsequently at Naas District Court where the maximum penalty is a €3,000 fine and 12 months in prison.

“The judge felt sympathy and said perhaps this is a man who is really entitled to refugee status,” he said.

Ullah has been held on remand in Cloverhill prison for the last two weeks and will appear in court again on August 5th.

In a statement ARN said that he should never have been placed in prison.

"He is guilty of no crime, and our so-called humanitarian protection system has completely failed him," a spokesperson said

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