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09.04.2006 Diaspora News

Toddlers protest illegal Ghanaian's arrest

By ynetnews

Some 20 children demonstrate opposite Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv, seek release of jailed father of former kindergarten classmate

Unusual demonstration in Tel Aviv. Some 20 toddlers, aged two and three, demonstrated Sunday opposite the Interior Ministry office in Tel Aviv in the hopes of securing the release of an illegal alien from Ghana who is facing deportation from Israel.

The toddlers from the Ramat Aviv kindergarten were pushing for a change in the Interior Ministry's decision to expel Joel Mamme Manar, the father of May, one of their former classmates. During the demonstration, the children held signs reading "the children ask – release May's father."

May's mother, a foreign worker from the Philippines, also arrived at the demonstration. She told Ynet that her daughter keeps calling for her father.

"I don't want to tell her that he's in jail, so I tell her that he's at work," she said. However, she added, her daughter already feels that something is wrong. The mother herself stopped working because of the situation.

"Who will feed me and my child if he is deported from the country?" she said.

Meanwhile, Attorney Tal Proshan filed a petition to prevent Mamme Manar's deportation from Israel. The court accepted the appeal and ruled that he will not be expelled until another decision is made on his case.

On Wednesday, another hearing will be held at the court and the foreign worker from Ghana may be released on bail.

Mamme Manar was arrested about three weeks ago near the Ghanaian church in Haifa. After his arrest, he was sent to a foreign workers' detention facility in Hadera. Interior Ministry officials said that he tried to free himself from the detention claiming that he was married and a father of a child.

Mamme Manar himself is now interested in resolving all his business in Israel, and only then he will leave the country. He said that he would like to travel to the Philippines with his wife or, alternatively, have her come with him to live in Ghana.

Attorney Proshan added that Mamme Manar is interested in applying for an Israeli citizenship

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