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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Kim Sun-il killed, airport accommodation for 16 years, gay tenancy rights, and hats

This snopes report is an incredible and true story of a man, Merhan Karimi Nasseri, now preferring to be known as Sir, (sic) Alfred Merhan, who has lived in a Paris airport for the last 16 years.

The incredible thing is that he has lived there because for the vast majority of that time, he could not legally leave the airport onto French soil, nor could he fly elsewhere. A long story of seeking asylum, having his papiers stolen, being refused refugee status on the basis of not having papers proving who he was, but not being able to be deported on the basis of not having papers saying where he came from.

After 11 years of this, he was finally given a residency permit, allowing him to leave the airport for the first time since 1988, but by this time he insisted he was not from Iran but in fact British, and he refused to sign the permit on the basis that it said he was of Iranian origin. His lawyer says, "Nobody could suffer all he did and stay normal" which seems true judging by some aspects of the article. What amazes me is just how together this guy still seems to be!

Having lived in France, I know the bureaucracy is a nightmare, but that a man can spend 11 years unable to legally leave an airport is a terrible indictment of European immigration policies. But reading of this man's survival and gentleness is also quite a heartwarming tale.

Noone is illegal!

Yey of the day goes to the Lords upholding gay people's tenancy rights. Yey!

Crazy and colourful hats at Royal Ascot is a BBC photo report for BBC's Children's Newsround. If you bear that audience in mind when you read the mundane comments, you'll be able to focus your attention on the bizarre and incredible things that women put on their heads at this event. It is a totally clear example of the kind of thing I don't understand at all.

It seems that Kim Sun-il has been killed :( It's breaking news just now but I don't think I want any more details. I hate all this.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to be lenient towards whoever killed him and say that he probably didn't know what Kim Il Sung looks like or even that he's been dead for a while and got the wrong guy.