Photos:Boniface Mwangi, family detained by police in Paris

Boniface mwangi
Activist Boniface Mwangi and his son at Paris International Airport following the family’s detention over lack of Schengen visas. Photo/COURTESY –

Activist Boniface Mwangi and his family have left Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris where they were detained for more than a day for not having Schengen visas.

Mwangi said they arrived at the airport at 10.15 am on Wednesday and were detained by French police, “with the kids sleeping at every bench and floor we stop at”.

“We left New York on Delta Airline on Tuesday via Paris with my family, an hour late since our flight was delayed. We found our connection flight to Kenya had already left. Air France gave us new tickets to fly to Nairobi via Amsterdam,” he said.


“We found ourselves detained for three hours by the border police in Paris while trying to get the connection via Amsterdam. My family didn’t have Schengen visas, but the airline gave us the Amsterdam tickets anyway.”

He had said they were to leave the airport at at 11am on Thursday adding that he had filed a complaint.

Mwangi faulted the Air France ground crew saying they did not inform his family that they could not travel without the visas.

“So three hours later in the border police unit, where I had to be escorted to a toilet, which doesn’t lock, they gave us new boarding passes for a flight leaving tomorrow (Thursday) morning,” he said.

He said another Kenyan, Evalina Olago, told them the airline was to offer them a hotel for the night, but that upon inquiry, they were informed they could not leave the airport.

“French police have refused to let the airline get us a hotel, or so they claim,” he said, noting that the airline made a mistake at the expense of paying passengers.

“I went back to the border police base to ask about the denial and the officer l found couldn’t even look at me,” he said, adding that Flying Blue and SkyTeam did not admit that the passengers were not in the wrong.

“The French police may justify trying to keep out illegal immigrants but the lack of empathy, understanding and zero effort in listening to us hurts.”

Free at last: Activist Boniface Mwangi and his family ready to board Kenya Airways flight KQ0113 from Paris to Nairobi on Friday morning Photo/Boniface Mwangi


Activist Boniface Mwangi’s children at Paris International Airport following the family’s detention over lack of Schengen visas. Photo/COURTESY –

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