Woman free after 24 days stuck in Madrid airport

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A CAMEROONIAN woman who has been stranded in Madrid airport for more than three weeks is finally to be allowed into Spain after the Prime Minister stepped in to resolve her situation.

Christelle Ngangnou, a 29-year-old lesbian, saw her application for asylum in Spain rejected three times and Spanish police tried to wrestle her onto planes back to the country four times, before an order came through from the EU Human Rights Tribunal in Strasbourg demanding she be allowed to stay in Spain until at least April 17.

Ngangnou had explained that she was afraid to return home as an arrest order was issued for her in September 2014 due to her sexual orientation. Homosexuality is a punishable offence in Cameroon, with possible jail sentences of up to five years.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy authorised the ‘exceptional admittance’ to national territory yesterday (April 15), and the Red Cross announced that the asylum seeker, who had spent 24 days in limbo inside the Madrid airport, would be taken to one of its refugee centres.

“I’m so happy, this news gives me strength and encourages me to smile again. Each day I felt a little weaker and I was losing hope,” said Ngangnou after hearing the news.

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