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While migrants languish in prison, a girlfriend awaits progress

For months, the girlfriend of an Algerian migrant rescued in British waters last year has been waiting patiently to learn what fate awaits him. In court this week, frustrated at the lack of progress, she was no closer to obtaining an answer.

Aida Khatib has travelled several times from France to sit at the back of the Magistrates Court to hear how the case is progressing.

On Thursday, at the end of yet another inconclusive hearing, she told the Chronicle she was “emotionally affected” by the situation and was finding it “very difficult”.

Her boyfriend is one of six Algerian men who were travelling clandestinely to mainland Europe and were found suffering from exhaustion aboard a small boat off Europa Point last November.

They were detained while checks were carried out to confirm their identities but over six months later, a succession of administrative delays and tardy responses from Algerian officials mean they continue to languish in Windmill Hill prison.

The court heard how Ms Khatib, who has been in the relationship for a year, has travelled to Gibraltar from France three times since last November to attend court appearances and visit her boyfriend in prison.


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