Kenyan stowaway given six days to prepare statement on asylum plea in Netherlands

Maastricht Airport
Maastricht Airport in Netherlands. [Photo: Koninklijke Marechaussee]

A 16-year-old Kenyan stowaway who endured a 14-hour flight from Nairobi to the Netherlands last week has sought for asylum in the Dutch country.

Upon interrogation by Dutch Royal Marechaussee police, the teenager said he does not want to return to Kenya. He told the law enforcers that he went through a lot of struggle to get to Europe, although illegally.

The teen stowaway on February 5 hang onto a Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 cargo flight from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Istanbul and later Maastricht Airport in the Netherlands.

He was rushed to hospital after suffering from hypothermia.

Health officials in the Netherlands have termed him lucky that he survived the 14-hour flight which cruised at 19,000 ft and above the North Sea.

Medics explained that the risk a stowaway takes is maintaining a balance of blood oxygen as, in most cases, it drops.

Reports by Dutch Royal Marechaussee police indicate that the Kenyan stowaway will settle for at least six days in an asylum at Ter Apel.

He is required to prepare a statement on why he should be granted asylum in the Netherlands or be deported back to Kenya. This is even as the boy remained non-committal on why he fled Kenya.

A spokesperson from the Immigrate en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) said that they are investigating the teenager’s nationality since he claims he is a Kenyan but lack documentation to prove this.

“We cannot yet prove that he is Kenyan as he does not have any document that shows he comes from the Eastern African nation. 

“As the standard procedures dictate, he has to rest for six days before we commence with our investigations,” IND spokesperson told a local daily.

He will be granted legal aid as he tables his asylum plea. He will appear before a panel made up of immigration officials and the police.