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Living quietly South

”Du skal til samtale med grænsepolitiet vedr. din sag kl.14 på onsdag den 5.” [You must attend a meeting with the border police about your case at 2pm on Wednesday 5th.]

That is how the main line read in the letter I received from the authorities on that fateful day of the Danish chilling winter after I had got my final rejection. “I saw it coming,” I told myself while at the same time keeping faith although there was no hint whatsoever that could suggest I was going to be allowed to go free after the meeting.

I reported to the Danish Red Cross and was “henvist“ [directed] to the police office (though in civil outfit) and that Indian-looking heavily articulating-kind-of interpreter who were waiting for me in the waiting room in the Red Cross premises.

“Would you please follow us?” both the interpreter and interviewer said in unison. I went through the gate that closes automatically and into an office, which I found to be badly lit and pretty cold although the heater was on and the walls were artistically decorated.

“Min ven, som du kan godt se det udlandingservice har besluttet at du skal afsendes og jeg vil simpelthen bede dig om at underskrive på de papirne her,” said the policeman who was sitting in front of a computer desktop and a pile of unfolded papers, ”selvfølgelig,” the policeman went on, ”du bestemmer selv hvis du samarbejder eller ej men du skal vide at hvis du ikke underskrive på disse papir her, så skriver jeg min rapport og du bliver her i det lukkede område indtil jeg tager dig personligt til dit land og du ved hvad der sker, vel?”*

In the meantime I was weighing the options offered to me and I didn’t know if it was right to sign the deportation papers and be free while waiting for my day to come or to resist signing and be detained until some unidentified Danish cops took me back home. I opted for the former and was released back into the asylum centre while my brain was working at some speed typical of the cars in a Grand Prix race.

As fate might want it to be, I received a call from my lawyer the same evening that the battle was finally lost and thus I could henceforth expect to be shipped back home once all necessary travel documents were gathered. My last hope of salvation shrank to zero with that call.

The only alternative that was left to me was to vanish into thin air since I knew the deportation tactics that the border police use – just coming very early in the morning and then taking you straight to the airport or they wait for you and catch you on the famous pocket money day [The day when all asylum seekers have to sign with the police and receive their monetary allowance, Ed.]. Luckily I had very kind roommates who helped me to conceal I was going to escape; and I can’t thank them enough.

Now I am quietly living South ( I wouldn’t mind disclosing my whereabouts but it’s always better to be careful and again I never stay long in one location given my current situation; I am just nomad by virtue and circumstances ). I’m just surviving like any other honest African conscious of the fact that he is a persona non grata in the EU and nobody cares here and as a matter of fact no policeman is after me as far as I know and even if they were they would release me provided that I am not involved in any criminal activities.

Last I leave you with a quote by Winnie the Pooh (my favourite actually).  Pooh is describing his plan to stop the bees detecting him by pretending to be a little black cloud and Christopher Robin wonders if they won’t notice him. Pooh replies, “they might or might not, you can never tell with bees”.

* “My friend, as you can see the Immigration Service has decided that you must be deported and I ask you to sign these papers……. of course you can decide for yourself if you will co-operate or not but you should know that if you don’t sign these papers then I will write in my report and you will stay here in the closed area until I take you to your country and you know what will happen, don’t you?”

Nico’s true identity is known to New Times, but not his whereabouts.

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