Yemane-Tesfagiorgis: Airline’s Racial Profiling


In an incident he is calling racial profiling Meghary Yemane-Tesfagiorgis, a 34 year old man from North London who is of Eritrean Heritage, was escorted off an easyJet flight after a passenger complained about his behaviour on March 29.

Yemane-Tesfagiorgis interviewing with ITV News said:

I was asked to leave the plane by the captain, when asked why? He explained: 'A fellow passenger has stated that she does not feel safe with you on board.' "

His flight home to London Gatwick from Rom Fiumicino was delayed after the airline announced additional security checks were undertaken, it was then that Italian authorities escorted Yemane-Tesfagiorgis off the flight for questioning that took over 15 hours.

The airline said:

EasyJet rebooked Mr Yemane-Tesfagiorgis on the next flight from Rome to Gatwick after the authorities confirmed they were satisfied he could travel.”

Yemane-Tesfagiorgis is considering legal action and currently taking legal advice after and said:

If [the other passenger] was uncomfortable, she should be the one that gets off the plane ... it’s not about me and easyJet. It is way bigger than that.”

According to the Guardian easyJet had a similar incident occurred on 25 February when Laolu Opebiyi, a Nigerian-born Christian living in London, was removed from his flight by armed police at Luton airport. A passenger on the plane had considered him a security threat after seeing a message on his phone about “prayer”.

After giving over his phone police learned he was only trying to arrange a conference call prayer with friends, he believes that the passenger next to him assumed he was a Muslim and equated that with terrorist.

He told the Guardian:

Even if I was a Muslim, it was pretty unfair the way I was treated. I don’t think anyone, irrespective of their religion should be treated in such a way.”

Islamophobia is rampant in Europe with the current global terrorism crisis and the fear of immigrants and refugees.

Opebiyi made an important point stating:

If we keep on giving into this kind of bigotry and irrational fear, I dare say that the terrorists will have achieved their aim.”

Mary Schlichte