Pape Mater and Ibralo Fall, whose father and stepmother live in the Groningen village of Bedum, were visiting extended family in Sweden when they were detained by the authorities. On Tuesday, they are set to be deported back to Senegal.
Translation by Traci White
The two young men both have Schengen visas which permitted them to travel freely within the Schengen Area in Europe. The brothers were visiting their father and stepmother in Bedum and then decided to travel to visit other family members who live in Sweden.
According to Dagblad van het Noorden and reports in the Swedish media, the 24 and 26-year-old brothers were taken off the Flixbus they were traveling on at the Danish-Swedish border. The two young men were the only people of colour on the bus.
The authorities reportedly found their story suspicious. The two men were unable to provide an address for the family member they were visiting because one of their cousins was going to pick them up at the Malmö bus station. Their cousin was unable to answer his phone when they called him because he was driving to the station. The authorities took them into custody and the brothers have been kept in a detention centre for two weeks in separate cells.
Cheikh Fall, their father, and Mieke Harms, their stepmother, have travelled to Sweden to visit with the young men and meet with legal counsel to help get the men out of detention. Their Schengen area visas have been taken away, which means that they can no longer travel freely within Europe. Police in Sweden are reportedly allow to take a person’s visa away if they suspect that it was obtained through committing fraud, but Harms says that she personally applied for the visas on their behalf in the Netherlands.
Without the visas, Paper and Ibralo will have to travel back to Senegal without being able to first return to the Netherlands, and it is unclear if they will be able to obtain new visas.
Photo source: Marco Bono, Flickr