Macron rewards migrant hero who saved dangling youngster


PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron on Monday lauded as a hero a migrant from Mali who scaled an condominium constructing to preserve a boy or girl dangling from a balcony, and rewarded the youthful man’s bravery with an offer of French citizenship and a job as a firefighter.

“Bravo,” Macron mentioned to 22-12 months-old Mamoudou Gassama throughout a meeting in a gilded home of the presidential Elysee Palace in which Gassama also received a gold medal from the French point out for “courage and devotion.”

Gassama climbed five stories up the apartment building, transferring from balcony to balcony, and whisked a 4-year-previous boy to safety on Saturday evening as a crowd beneath screamed. His steps went viral on social media, exactly where he was dubbed “Spiderman”

Gassama claimed he has authorization to remain lawfully in Italy, which is in which he landed in Europe in 2014 soon after a a lot more than a year in Libya and a excursion across the Mediterranean Sea. He arrived to France in September to be a part of his more mature brother, who has lived in France for many years.

Dressed in tattered blue jeans and white shirt, the young guy recounted for the president what took area after he and some good friends noticed a younger child hanging from a fifth-floor balcony.

“I ran. I crossed the road to preserve him,” Gassama told Macron. He stated he failed to consider twice. “When I began to climb, it gave me braveness to keep climbing.”

God “assisted me,” way too, he claimed. “Thank God I saved him.”

Gassama explained he trembled with anxiety only right after he experienced arrived at the boy, gotten him safely and securely back again around the balcony railing and taken him inside of the condominium.

The father of the child was detained right away for alleged parental neglect, and is to appear in court docket in September. He left the youngster by itself although he shopped, then lingered to play Pokemon Go, Prosecutor Francois Molins instructed BFM-Television. The whereabouts of the child’s mother have been unclear.

“You saved a kid. Without having you, no a single is aware of what would have turn into of him,” the president explained. “You have to have braveness and the capability to do that.”

Macron supplied to start out the naturalization procedure to make Gassama a French citizen and stated, “Since this is an remarkable act … we are of course, right now, going to regularize all your papers.”

Macron is behind a bill toughening French immigration legislation, and he pressured there is no contradiction between rewarding Gassama for his act of bravery and performing to avoid migrants from coming into France illegally by halting the stream of arrivals at its supply.

“An fantastic act does not make coverage,” he advised reporters later, vowing to keep a policy that is “exigent, respectful of our principles” on asylum and “demanding” concerning the migratory flux.

The special therapy for Gassama comes as authorities put together to evacuate some 2,400 migrants from makeshift encampments in the French funds. The forced closure of the encampments is the subject of a heated discussion involving the Paris mayor, who would like to assure the uprooted will be sheltered, and Inside Minister Gerard Collomb, who was present Monday at the Elysee.

Gassama advised Macron he was arrested and beaten for the duration of his prolonged tough stay in Libya, “but I was not discouraged.”

The French president mentioned Gassama’s steps manufactured him deserving of particular procedure. Working as a firefighter corresponds with his competencies, explained Macron, who opened the door for him to do just that.

“You have become an illustration for the reason that thousands and thousands have viewed you” on social media, the president explained.

An additional Malien, Lassana Bathily, was provided French citizenship in January 2015, soon soon after he saved lives by hiding people today in a freezer and alerting police throughout a terror attack on a Jewish grocery where by he worked.


An earlier edition of this story corrected the 9th paragraph to use naturalization, as a substitute of nationalization.


Macron rewards migrant hero who saved dangling youngster