‘Hero’ Malian who saved child to be given French citizenship

Photo showing French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with local hero Mamoudou Gassama 22, from Mali, at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris, for saving a child, May 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
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‘Hero’ Malian who saved child to be given French citizenship

PARIS: A Malian migrant who scaled a four-story Paris apartment bloc with his bare hands to save a child was honored by French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday and offered citizenship.
Two days after his daring Spiderman-style rescue — viewed millions of times online — Mamoudou Gassama was received by Macron at the presidential palace.
“You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful,” Macron told the 22-year-old, adding that his immigration status would be “put in order.”
During the meeting, Macron also proposed that Gassama, who received a medal and certificate for bravery, join the French fire service.
“I was not thinking of anything. I went straight up,” the sporty youth, who wore jeans and a short-sleeved patterned shirt, explained.
“Bravo,” Macron replied.
The act of heroism, which was the top news item for most French websites and television channels, comes as French lawmakers debate a controversial bill that would speed up the deportation of economic migrants and failed asylum-seekers.
Gassama has been living illegally in France and working in construction after arriving in the country in September last year following a perilous journey from his homeland to Libya then Italy.
Macron, a centrist, has taken a tough line on economic migrants fleeing poverty rather than refugees escaping war or persecution.
But Gassama’s “exceptional act of heroism” warranted an “exceptional decision,” he said Monday.
Gassama leaped into action Saturday evening on seeing a four-year-old child dangling in mid-air from a balcony half-way up an apartment block in the multi-ethnic 18th district of the French capital.
The video shows him pulling himself up from balcony to balcony as a man on the fourth floor tries to hold on to the child by leaning across from a neighboring balcony.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the child, whose parents were not at home, had already been rescued.
A shy figure who was accompanied to the Elysee Palace by his older brother, Gassama said he had acted instinctively.
“I saved the child and then went inside the building and I was shaking,” he told Macron.
Reacting to his awards he said later: “I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a trophy like that.”

 


Hungary detains Syrian Daesh member accused of killings: prosecutors

Updated 22 March 2019
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Hungary detains Syrian Daesh member accused of killings: prosecutors

  • Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial co-operation in crime investigations, working with Belgian and Hungarian authorities, found evidence later that he was a member of Daesh
  • Prior to being detained, the man was already awaiting deportation to Greece

BUDAPEST: Hungarian authorities have detained a Syrian man on Friday accused of taking part in beheadings in Syria as a member of Daesh, Budapest prosecutors said in a statement.
The man, not identified in the statement, is suspected of executing about 20 people in 2016, all family members of a person in Homs city who refused to join Daesh, the prosecutors said.
The statement said the man, prior to being detained, was already awaiting deportation to Greece.
He had been caught with forged documents in Budapest's main airport on Dec. 30 last year, given a suspended prison sentence for human trafficking and other crimes, and ordered expelled from Hungary.
Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial co-operation in crime investigations, working with Belgian and Hungarian authorities, found evidence later that he was a member of Daesh, the prosecutors said.