police arrest ryanair passenger


Passenger dragged, put in chokehold on Ryanair flight

'You're breaking my neck.'


Samira Sadeque


Posted on Aug 7, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 7:02 am CDT

A now-viral video shows Portugal police officers forcefully dragging a passenger and putting him in a chokehold on a Ryanair flight. 

A Twitter user named Islam shared the clip on Wednesday, claiming the incident took place on a Ryanair flight in Portugal. The presence of the officers suggests the plane was grounded.

“My boy was racially profiled and attacked on our flight on our way home,” Islam wrote in the tweet, accompanied by the video. “There was a free seat next to me but the air hostess refused to let him sit there and accused him of punching her when the whole plane has his side.”

In the video, at least three officers can be seen trying to drag the passenger out of his seat. One of the officers puts him in a brief chokehold. 

“You’re breaking my neck,” the passenger yells at one of the officers. “You’re hurting my neck!”

The person filming the incident urges the man, named Rafik, to stop resisting the officers.

“Rafik, let them take you off the plane … let them take you off the plane,” the person says. 

Meanwhile, many other passengers can be seen and heard defending the passenger. “You’re hurting him,” one yells. 

A second video–shared by someone of the same name as the passenger–shows the incident from a different angle. In it, the man refutes the claim that he pushed someone. “I didn’t push! Did I push? … You are lying, I didn’t push,” he says.

A woman, along with other passengers can be heard backing him up. “He did not touch them,” the woman can be heard saying. “No,” the others say.

“To think that what just happened to us is still happening in 2019 is DISGUSTING. This is not the first time @Ryanair have messed up. Please help me boycott them and sort this out. #justice,” Rafik wrote on Twitter.

According to a follow-up tweet from Islam, Ryanair employees closed the desk shutter when they approached it, seeking help. 

“His bag is literally ripped and he is injured,” Islam later wrote. 

Many on Twitter shared their anger in solidarity with the passengers, with some pointing out the lack of action exhibited by fellow white passengers, as the protests were largely drawn from passengers of color.



The Daily Dot has reached out to Islam and Ryanair.


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*First Published: Aug 7, 2019, 7:39 pm CDT