The victim of a 2007 gang rape spoke out against a group of plane passengers who protested one of her rapist’s deportations in a viral video.
Hannah, a pseudonym since the victim does not want to reveal her name, was 16 when she moved out of her parent’s U.K. home and into a hostel, according to The Daily Mail. While out late one night at a bar in August 2007, she said she lost track of her friends and was led to a flat where Somalian Yaqub Ahmed and three others gang-raped her. Neighbors heard her cries and alerted the police, who arrested all four men.
Yaqub Ahmed was scheduled to be deported in October 2018, but passengers on his deportation flight to Turkey intervened, saying repeatedly, “Take him off the plane!”
“He says they’re separating him from his family, his family’s here,’ one man said in the video, while another said, “When he gets to Mogadishu, they’re going to kill him.”
When the Home Office team gave in to the passengers’ protests and took Ahmed off the plane, one of the passengers shouted, “You’re free, man!”
Ahmed remains in a detention center at taxpayer expenses of what The Daily Mail estimates to be at least £18,000.
“I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video at first, I just read the article, but when I finally did watch it, I was in my room and it was just awful,” Hannah told The Daily Mail. “I got so angry and upset. I feel like I should have been told, so I didn’t have to find out in the way that I did.”
She said she was horrified the passengers would interfere in a case they knew nothing about.
“How could you defend a rapist?” she asked. “How could you intervene? He was in handcuffs, he was being taken out of the country … who are you people to interfere with justice?”
Hannah said the video caused her mental health to deteriorate further, making her afraid to go more than two miles from her home.
“A lot of the time I just feel hopeless, it’s never going to end, I’m never going to get away from it,” she said. “They need to deport him. How have they allowed this to happen? It’s an absolute farce. I thought there was meant to be victim’s rights. Where are my rights here?”
She said the passengers were displaying a mob mentality, thinking they were performing a good deed when they actually had no idea what was going on.
“It’s the bleeding heart brigade,” she continued. “They see someone in handcuffs and they are assuming it’s an injustice.”
“Those people should have realized it takes a lot to get someone deported, maybe we shouldn’t interfere. It was just people who wanted to do a good deed and feel proud of themselves.”
“We are determined to protect the public by removing foreign national offenders who commit criminal offenses,” a Home Office spokesman told The Daily Mail. “We are committed to ensuring that the victims of foreign national offenders receive the information they are entitled to should they request it.”
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