The flight was already two hours late. I noticed that a few people had boarded the plane before the rest of us. Once we boarded the plane, we heard cries and the sound of people fighting. I thought: ‘This is insane. We’ve just waited for two hours, and now there are people fighting – are they trying to delay us even more?’
I went closer and saw two men, one of them quite big and wearing an orange T-shirt, holding down a man who was shouting and seemed to be in a lot of pain. The two of them held down his arms and legs. It was unbelievable, watching them act so violently.
Then, as you can see in the video, a passenger in an Adidas sweatshirt approached the police officers and asked them to release the man. He also told the undocumented migrant to calm down and to be careful of what he said and did, because he risked being accused of insulting the police and thus worsening his situation.
I learned afterwards that the man in the Adidas sweatshirt actually knew the man being held down. The reason the undocumented migrant had been pinned to the ground was because he had recognised this man and got up to move towards him.
“If a Tunisian policeman did that to a Frenchman, it would have sparked a diplomatic spat!”
The elderly people around me were shocked. There were also children who asked what was going on. I saw flight attendants and other flight crew with tears in their eyes. We were deeply shocked by the way this person was being treated. If a Tunisian policeman did that to a Frenchman, it would have sparked a diplomatic spat! True, I didn’t see the officers throw any punches. But I believe there are other ways to treat a human being, especially in public, like on a tourist flight.
At one point, the two men asked me to stop filming. But I refused. I have every right to do so, and I didn’t do it to be famous. As I said on the video, for France, a country that prides itself for its defence of human rights, it’s a real disgrace to treat a human being like this.