In another example of discrimination, a passenger was captured on camera being hit on a Turkish Airlines flight.
The flight was scheduled to take off from London Heathrow to Istanbul and was on tarmac when the incident took place. The man, who remains unidentified, claims to be an Afghan asylum seeker. He was later allegedly barred from traveling.
The video shows the man being slapped and restrained while he is on his seat. As the passenger screams and asks for help, his head is pushed forcibly against the wall by a crew member.
“I can’t breathe honestly. Please send to the media. I am Afghan. I have Italian documents... they are rejecting the information,” yells the man.
The confrontation was captured by Ahtzaz Ali, a passenger, who can also be heard asking a crew member the reason for slapping the Afghan man.
“Why is he slapping him?” asked Ali.
To that, the crew member tells Ali to shut his mobile phone.
Ali later explained the entire incident and said, “There was a man who was clearly upset on board the plane but wasn't being abusive to the crew or anybody else.”
“All of a sudden, someone who seemed like they were an immigration officer came and started physically abusing the man by slapping him and pushing his face down whilst he was crying and shouting that he wouldn't be safe going back to Afghanistan. The journey after he was taken off the plane was very upsetting as passengers were in tears, clearly disturbed by what they had seen,” he further added.
Qes Ahmed, another passenger, said when other people started to voice their concerns, the Afghan man was removed from the flight after “a bit of commotion.”
The immigration officer leading this mans deportation - does anyone know who he is? pic.twitter.com/UCBCPAE4w9— Harris Khaliq (@harris_khaliq) June 17, 2017
While calling the incident “disgusting” Ahmed said, “If he was such a threat, why have him on a public flight, within 5 meters of a child anyway?!? Seriously hope that justice is served to the old twat with an authority complex.”
“If people are in the country illegally and refuse to leave voluntarily we will take action to remove them. Whilst it is regrettable that some people become disruptive on removal, we do our utmost to try and minimize any potential impact on the rest of the passengers,” said a Home Office spokesman.
The spokesman further added, “Any use of force must be fully justified and proportionate and is used only as a last resort for the shortest time possible.”
Turkish Airlines did not comment.
This is not the first time the airline has singled out someone for their religion or their country of origin. Recently, two Muslim men were forced to get off a flight headed to Manchester, England, from Izmir, Turkey, so they would go through airport security a second time. Due to this incident, the flight left nearly 90 minutes late.