Pretty Yende shows she had the right papers. It’s the police who were racist
French media, including some music sites, rushed to defend their border police for strip-searching the South African soprano Pretty Yende at Charles De Gaulle airport. They reported the police version that she was trying to enter France without the right papers and deserved all she got.
Those media should be ashamed.
Pretty Yende has now hit back.
In the view of many press reports which shared a statement from the police that I, and I quote, ”did not have any documents but my South African passport and needed a visa to enter France”, I’d like to clarify that I DID have all the necessary documents that permit me to move freely and work since 2009. I have an unlimited permesso di soggiorno italiano (Italian residency permit) which is being renewed and a permesso di soggiorno improvvisorio (temporary residence), which I presented to the police at the border control and posting right now. I did NOT need a visa to enter or work in any of the European countries, including France.
“Long-term EU resident status, issued on 02/16/2015 by the Police Headquarters in Milan and with unlimited validity is provided by the article 9 of the Consolidated Immigration Act (Legislative Decree 286/98) and regularly issued in accordance with European Directive 2003/109/EC, implemented by Italy and France and containing the common guidelines for the issuance of such residence permits with unlimited validity.
– This residence permit, issued in paper form, precisely to allow the singer to circulate outside the Italian territory, is valid until 20/09/2021 and indicates that it is issued for self-employment. There are no material errors in the data entered, nor any doubts about its validity or truthfulness.
– The detention at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris by the French Police is absolutely illegitimate since the foreign citizen was in possession of a regular residence permit issued by the Italian authorities (Questura di Milano), as well as she keeps the status of long term resident.
– It is also very serious and in violation of the rules on movement within the Schengen Area in favour of foreign citizens in possession of long-term resident status, to require an entry visa nor is it possible to reject them at the border.”- declaration from my lawyer
Additionally, it is stated the police officers did not take all of my belongings including my phone. Well, they did take all of my personal belongings and my phone. There is proof, as well.
No more playing my word against yours game…
We have yet to hear one word of sympathy or condemnation from the Opéra de Paris. Let alone an apology from those music sites.