369 days. That’s how long Syrian refugee, Fadi Mansour, has been trapped in Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The 28-year old law student fled Syria in 2012 when civil war broke out in hopes to seek refuge in Europe. After learning from a smuggler the easiest way to enter Europe was through Malaysia, Mansour took a leap of faith, which ultimately resulted in his current, unfortunate predicament. When he arrived in Malaysia Mansour was rejected from entering the country, and forced to return to Atatürk Airport. He’s since been held in the airport’s “Problematic Passengers Room”.
According to Tech Times:
The room is reportedly designed to hold two to three people, but on any given day, it holds between 30 and 40 detainees inside. There is no natural light and poor ventilation, and at one time, he was even beaten up really badly by one of his fellow detainees that he had to be brought to a hospital.
He’s also been living off of three square meals, consisting of only fast food each day.
Upon his arrival, Malaysian officials believed that Mansour was traveling with a falsified passport. When he was sent back to Turkey, where he flew out, was detained for reasons both Mansour and his lawyer have yet to be informed of — even a year later. His containment has had an ill effect of his psyche.
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I read more than 40 books. I tried to learn languages. I play on my phone. A month ago, I mentally couldn’t handle it any longer. I became almost aggressive, feeling like I want to hit the walls. I started smoking two and a half packs a day. I’ve never smoked before.” – via Mashable
Amnesty International‘s attempts to liberate Mansour have fell short, with Turkish authorities largely not acknowledging their efforts. “F.M. has relatives in other countries who are attempting to sponsor him to obtain a visa. According to the information received, no foreign embassy representatives have interviewed F.M. in detention, although it is unclear if this is because they were denied access by the Turkish authorities, or if no attempt was actually made,” Amnesty International wrote in a statement.
A tweet posted by Mansour yesterday however, suggests that his luck may have finally changed for the better.
Thanks God الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/YriI31wu9g
— Fadi Mansour (@Fadimans0ur) March 19, 2016
It’s unknown whether he will be sent back to Syria, as Amnesty International has pointed out that by doing so would go against “non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of refugees to a place where the person is at risk of human rights violations.”
Let’s hope that Mansour’s recent change in luck continues.