Mom and baby granted residence

Greek authorities yesterday awarded a residence permit to an 18-year-old illegal Somali immigrant who was separated from her 7-month-old son when she was caught by Turkish troops while trying to cross the Evros River into Greece. The Citizens’ Protection Ministry said that Hodan Sido had been given permission to remain in Greece, where she hopes to be reunited with her 30-year-old husband who had already been living in Athens. The 18-year-old was part of a group of immigrants who had tried to cross the Evros earlier this month when she was caught. Another of the migrants, who evaded capture, was carrying her son at the time and Sido was separated from him. She was taken into custody in Turkey and imprisoned for three days. After her release, she made another attempt to cross into Greece secretly, this time successfully. Once across the border, she sought out the police so they could take her to the reception center in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece. Officials there recognized the baby in the photograph she showed them and took her to the local hospital, where Sido was reunited with her son, Ahmet. The 18-year-old had to undergo a DNA test so authorities could be sure the child was hers. Mother and child faced deportation but the Citizens’ Protection Ministry intervened to ensure that they can join the boy’s father in Athens. «I thank the Greeks for the way they treated my son and me and for the help that they offered us,» said Sido, who added that she cannot wait to join her husband in Athens. However, she expressed a desire to live permanently in Alexandroupoli.