These cases have already been widely reported. "Ekundayo Joseph Omoniyi is a refugee from Nigeria who was forced into exile by the current Nigerian government. Ekundayo applied for asylum here, was turned down. He appealed and heard nothing until one day he went to renew his ID card, and was brought before gardai, who told him his deportation papers had been ready for over 6 months. They accused him of going into hiding, and arrested him, and took him to the Joy for deportation. Weeks later Ekundayo was brought to Dublin airport for deportation to Belgium. The Gardai beat him. The crew refused to take him on board and he was returned to the Joy, and held for 4 weeks over the Christmas, last year. His case is especially important because of the Supreme Court judgement that his deportation by the gardai was illegal. Nevertheless he has since been charged with two assault charges alleged to have occurred whilst being taken to the airport, although he was handcuffed all along.
These charges are to be heard on 16th of February in the District Court behind the Bridewell, Dublin.
The other case is Belmondo's. He is due in court on February 28th.
Belmondo, who is an electrical engineer from the Congo, has been living here with his wife and children for nearly 3 years, and has status. However Belmondo has faced a nightmare of repeated racist harassment, which began in May, two years ago, when his house was raided by armed Gardi at 3 am. He was dragged from his bed, taken to Sundrive Road, held for '2 hours, and then taken to the Joy, held for a week, then released without charge. Later he was charged on two counts of assault against the Gardi in his own house. Subsequent to imprisonment in the Joy, Belmondo has been arraigned on numerous, petty charges one concerning not having ID, when even a judge considered the ID he presented was more than adequate. He has also been persecuted by charges with other petty offences such as not have insurance or tax or driving licence, all of which were thrown out of the court. He was also charged with assault, which is the case scheduled for hearing on 28th February.
It would be a great support to both Belmondo and Ekundayo that many people show thier support, and their opposition to racist behaviour, that they come to these two trials in February..