Pretty Yende Speaks Out Against French Police

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Elena Cherkashyna)

In response to French police refuting Pretty Yende’s detainment and stating that she had a South African passport, the soprano has released her documents and a statement on social media.

Yende said, “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. I did NOT need a visa to enter or work in any of the European countries, including France.”

She added, “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.”

Yende’s lawyer added that her detainment at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris by the French Police was illegitimate because she had the correct documentation and keeps the status of long term resident.

The lawyer also noted, “It is also very serious and in violation of the rules on movement within the Schengen Area in favor 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.”

On June 21, Yende was detained at the Charles De Gaulle when she was returning to France from Italy and was stripped and searched by police officers without explanation. The French police later refuted the claims noting that Yende did not have the right documents. OperaWire has since spoken to Yende in an exclusive interview.

Here are the soprano’s documents that were posted on social media.