Saturday, January 17, 2015

A plea to Taiwan authorities on behalf of a Gambian named KAIRA DEMBO

薩內 甘比亞
On November 16th 2014, while on routine patrol of the streets of Taipei City, two police officers stopped a "male foreigner" riding what was described as a heavy-duty motorcycle.  When they asked him for his ID and he began to stutter and hesitated to respond to the officers' request.

According to police reports, the motorcycle-riding male foreigner finally produced a photocopy of his permanent resident certificate, health insurance card, a certificate of qualification on safety education of the construction industry were handed over to the officers for inspection.

When he handed them what was supposed to be his ID, the photo was saying something else.   It turned out that the bike rider stole the ID from a friend from Mali and that he is Gambian by the name of KAIRA DEMBO or most probably Dembo Kaira.  Either way, he was in Taiwan illegally for seven years.

After thorough investigation by the City of Taipei police, it turned out that Demba entered Taipei-Taoyuan International Airport from Thailand with a 14-day visitor visa in August 2007.  The police has transferred the case to the Datong District of Taipei for further investigation to see if Dembo had not been involved in any illegal activities during his illegal stay.

What the police have been able to establish thus far is that Dembo has been doing odd jobs from one construction site to another without a fix address which is the life of many African immigrants around the globe.  Dembo has worked in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Taichung.

According to the Taipei police reports, Dembo overstayed because he said "he loved freedom, democracy and the progress of Taiwan and the friendly nature of the Taiwanese people" which did not come as a surprise from a Gambia.

Like hundreds of thousand young Gambian immigrants who have escaped a very brutal and corrupt regime in The Gambia, Dembo is yearning for a free, open and democratic society where he can be part of society, contribute to its development and his worth appreciated and his work rewarded fairly.  

He was getting all of that and more in Taiwan.  We hope he will continue to enjoy the best Taiwan and its people have on offer to immigrants like KAIRA DEMBO who are looking for nothing but to live in peace and dignity.

Barring any unfavorable outcome of the pending investigations, we hope the authorities will regularize his stay in Taiwan where he chose to make his home because of what Demba described as his love for freedom, democracy and the nature and progress of the Taiwanese people.