England

‘I was not safe in France’: Asylum seeker explains perilous trip across Channel

An asylum seeker says he risked a perilous trip across the English Channel in a small, overcrowded boat because he did not feel safe in France.

The Yemeni man, who we are calling Ali, arrived in England in late May after spending a month in a tent in Calais, alongside untreated people suffering from coronavirus.

There were 16 people on the smugglers' boat he took, the waves were high, and the engine shut down.

"We were feeling we could die at any time during the trip," he said through an interpreter.

Ali told Sky News he was beaten up by gangs in Calais and did not claim asylum in France.

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Nevertheless, he is due to be flown back there in the next week.

Migrants met by Border Force in Kent

He was speaking as Royal Navy chiefs consider a formal request for support to deal with migrants attempting to cross the Channel following a rise in incidents.

More from Migrant Crisis

The 24-year-old fled Yemen after the Houthi authorities accused him of being a spy following his return from Saudi Arabia.

He came all the way to the UK because he was attacked by smugglers in Europe and felt controlled by gangs, who took his food and money, he said.

The boat he was on was intercepted, but after reaching England "all the pains and the struggles disappRead More – Source

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