Tag Archives: 2019

[Lesbos] Freispruch für die Moria 8!

Moria 8 freigesprochen

Übersetzt von Cant evict solidarity

 

“Polizist*innen in Mytilene tun seltsame Dinge, die ich nicht verstehe.”  (Präsidentin des Obersten Gerichtshofs, Chios)

Nach 11 Monaten unrechtmäßiger Inhaftierung wurden die Moria 8 schließlich für unschuldig erklärt und freigelassen. Am 22. Februar 2019 wurden sie vor den Obersten Gerichtshof in Chios gebracht, wo die drei Richter und die vierköpfige Jury nur anderthalb Stunden brauchten, um sie von allen Anklagen freizusprechen.

Die acht Männer wurden am 19. März 2018 verhaftet und beschuldigt, bei Protesten im Lager Moria fünf Tage zuvor die Polizei und Brandstiftung angegriffen zu haben. Fünf von ihnen wurden elf Monate lang in Haft gehalten, zwei im Gefängnis Korydallos und drei im Gefängnis auf Chios. Es gab keine Ermittlungen und die Alibis, die das Fehlen von mindestens zwei der Angeklagten während der Proteste belegen, wurden weder bei der Voranhörung unmittelbar nach der Verhaftung noch bei den eingereichten Einwänden gegen die Verhaftung berücksichtigt. Keiner der 17 Polizist*innen, die während der Proteste im Lager im Einsatz waren, war zu einer Voranhörung eingeladen und gebeten worden, einen der Angeklagten zu identifizieren.

Die Anschuldigung gegen die acht Männer aus Syrien und dem Irak beruhte nur auf einer Aussage eines anderen Campbewohners. Drei Monate vor dem Prozess schickte der Mann ein Video an einen der Angeklagten, in dem er sich für falsche Anschuldigungen entschuldigteund behauptet: “Ich habe sie verraten, weil ich Probleme hatte, bedroht wurde und Mytilini verlassen musste.” Als er zuvor seine Aussage gegen die Angeklagten gemacht hatte, veranlasste die Polizei, dass er direkt zum Festland gehen kann.

Die Präsidentin des Obersten Gerichtshof hörte elf Zeugenaussagen der 17 Polizist*innen an, die allesamt aussagten,  keinen der Angeklagten erkennen zu können. Sie bat nicht einmal die drei Zeugen der Verteidigung um eine Aussage. Sie sagte: “Polizist*innen in Mytilene tun seltsame Dinge, die ich nicht verstehe. Sie brachten Menschen ins Gefängnis wegen einer Aussage, die dies nicht rechtfertigt. Ab und zu schicken sie ohne Grund Leute zum Obersten Gerichtshof. Es gibt keinen Fall. Die Polizeibehörden in Mytilene sollten sich besser koordinieren. Wenn etwas passiert, solltest du es untersuchen.”

Es war dieselbe Richterin, die ein Jahr zuvor 32 Männer aus der Gruppe der Moria 35 verurteilt hatte, obwohl es keine zuverlässigen Beweise gab.

Vici Angelidou, der Anwalt von vier der Angeklagten, sagte: “Die Richterin und die Jury hatten nicht einmal eine Sitzung, um ihre Entscheidung zu treffen, sie sahen sich an und schafften es in etwa zehn Sekunden direkt.

Die Richterin fand klare Worte für die Anklage gegen die Ungerechtigkeit auf Lesbos, wo Migrant*innen häufig von der Polizei ins Visier genommen werden und bis zu 18 Monate ohne Untersuchung festgehalten werden können. Dennoch hat die Praxis der willkürlichen Verhaftungen und Rechtsvorwürfe nicht aufgehört. Am 28. Februar, 9. Mai und 10. Oktober 2019 wird es weitere Gerichtsverfahren gegen Menschen auf der Flucht von den Lesbos-Inseln geben.

Wir fordern die Polizei und das Gericht von Mytilene auf, diese Übergriffe auf Geflüchtetenproteste und die Kriminalisierung von Personen, die internationalen Schutz in Griechenland suchen, zu stoppen!

Quelle: https://dm-aegean.bordermonitoring.eu/2019/02/23/moria-8-declared-innocent/

[Lesvos] Ongoing Criminalization of Refugee Protests – Upcoming trials against migrants on Lesvos

The criminalization of refugees protesting for their rights on Lesvos Island continues.

In April 2018, 32 people from the Moria 35 who had been arrested arbitrarily following a peaceful sit-in strike were convicted without any reliable evidence. Now, three more trials against refugees will be held at the end of February 2019.

Two of the trials address peaceful protests on the central Sapphous square of Mytilene, Lesvos, in November 2017. 13 adults and 4 minors are charged. The first trial will take place on 21st of February and the defendants are charged for camping on a communal space. The second trial is scheduled for the 28th of February with the charge of attempt to occupy a public space. In addition, some of the defendants are accused for disobedience and others for resistance against the police.

The third trial addresses protests in the Syrian family section in Moria camp on March 14th, 2018. Eight people have been arrested, and five of them have been held in pre-trial detention since. Their court case will take place on the 22nd of February on Chios Island.

A fourth trial against refugees who have been protesting on the central square of Mytilene will follow. The hearing date is the 9th of May 2019. The group has been arrested on the night of 22/23rd of April 2018. They were peacefully protesting against the situation on Lesvos, when they were attacked by a group of about 300 right wing nationalist with Molotov Cocktails, rocks, sticks, and bottles. Until the early morning, the refugees were trapped on the square. While the violent attack took place, and after the violence came to an end, the police did not follow the aggressors but instead turned to the refugees who had been targeted by fascists for hours and took them to the police station. The public prosecutor’s office presses charges against them for the occupation of public space, disobedience and resistance.

The upcoming court cases on the end of February mark another peak in a chain of systematic criminalization of refugees, who are only claiming their rights and protesting against the restriction of movement to the Greek Islands and the inhumane conditions in Moria camp.

Accusations for protests on the Sapphous Square of Mytilini

The events on Sapphous Square

On 20th October 2017, a large group of Afghan refugees left the camp of Moria after violent incidents in the camp. Due to the inhumane living conditions, unequal treatment and the massive overcrowding of the camp, there are frequent outbreaks of violence leaving even uninvolved individuals badly injured.

About forty people refused to go back to Moria camp and stayed on the central Sapphous square in Mytilene, among them families with small children who were later joined by more people with different national backgrounds. For more than a month, the protesters slept on bare ground with only blankets to cover them. When strong rain started, the protestors usually did not spend the night in the square, but found alternate places to sleep for the night, and then returned to the square in the morning. Only some set up thin camping tents. They claimed the conditions were still better than staying in Moria camp.

One of the protesters, a young woman from Afghanistan explained:

“They say you can only leave Moria when you are vulnerable. So they force us to stay there until we are made vulnerable. This is crazy, no one can live in Moria, especially for women it is really dangerous.”

While there was a strong solidarity movement among the Greek and international community, the protestors were also several times confronted by right wing groups on the square.

On November 20th, the municipality called for a general strike with speeches on the square that was joined by nationalist groups. The refugee protesters left the square during this assembly on November 20th and marched on the same day to the UNHCR office to present their demands for freedom of movement.

When they tried to return to the square the next day, they were surrounded by police and harassed by hostile local groups. The police aggressively pushed the refugees aside, surrounded them and evicted the square. During this action, some of the protesters were hurt by the police, including a young child. While the refugee protestors were violently expelled from the square by the police, they did not engage in any violence themselves.The court case

The court case

More than a year later, 17 of the protestors of the Sapphous square events are now facing a trial in court. They were not even officially notified. Most of them have already been recognized as refugees, some live in Athens in the self-organized place “Hotel City Plaza”. The charges against them include camping on a public space, disobedience and resistance against the police. The court dates in Lesbos are the 21st and the 28th of February.

We demand freedom for all accused protestors. The only “crime” they committed is demanding their legitimate rights to be allowed to move freely within Greece instead of being forced to live in the inhumane conditions of the European Hotspot camp Moria. The situation in Moria has been evolving as a result of the EU-Tukey statement that forces asylum seekers to remain on the Greek Islands. A member of Doctors without Borders described Moria as “the worst refugee camp in the world”. We stand in solidarity with all of the accused people.A

Accusations against the Moria 8

On March 14th, 2018 at about 6.15 pm, clashes between migrants and police took place in the Arab family section of Moria camp. Small fires broke out and the police shot teargas in the family section that badly affected the inhabitants, among them many young children. Several families fled the camp.

Three days later, eight individuals – four Iraqis and four Syrians – were arrested and charged for riots against the police endangering human life. The police bases the arrest warrant on the accusation of a single person, an inhabitant of Moria camp who had at that time the function of a community leader for migrants from Iraq.

The community leader claimed to have recognized all of the eight, although it was dark, smoke and teargas was in the air and the faces of the refugees involved in the clashes with the police were covered. Many of the accused migrants reported that they did not even know the community leader personally. At the same time, none of the 17 police men who testified had been able to recognize a single person. The role of community leaders in Moria Camp, which involves appointment using various methods across different nationalities – and approval of the individual by authorities – is undefined and unorganised and leads to many different personalities filling this position.

On the day the former Iraqi community leader testified, his geographic restriction to the island of Lesvos was removed and he was able to leave to the Greek mainland. Repeatedly, community leaders reported that they have been put under pressure by the police to pass on information and were threatened with criminal prosecution themselves, or that it would harm their own asylum claim if they did not cooperate. Moreover, they are offered to be able to leave the horrible conditions on Lesvos if they work as informants. This might have triggered the only witness to make false claims and accuse eight people.

In two cases there is clear evidence showing the innocence of the defendants. One man from Syria was not in Moria at the time of the protest but in the town of Mytilene, as testified by a witness and backed up by a dated photo taken of him in town. When he arrived in the camp, he immediately helped a heavily pregnant woman in front of the camp, who had been badly affected by the teargas. Together with two other witnesses, he brought her to the hospital. The four people only arrived back in the camp at night when the clashes had died down. Another accused man from Iraq was working as translator for the NGO “Moria Medical Support” during the time of the protests.

Five of the accused have been kept in pre-trial detention since ten months awaiting their trial. On Wednesday, the 22nd of February 2019, the trial will be held on Chios Island. After the unjust conviction of the 32 people the year before, it is again likely that the accused will also be convicted without any evidence.

The lengthy pre-trial detention and the charges based on dubious accusations outline another case of criminalization of protests and a violent crackdown on resistance of people protesting.

Both trials are symbolic for the ongoing criminalization of refugees opposing the system of encampment and deportation, imposed at the EU borders.

Freedom for the protesters on Sapphous Square!

Freedom for the Moria 8!

The defendants need support for their court cases.

Cost arise for court fees, expense allowance for lawyers, ferry tickets and accommodation for defendants and witnesses.

We collect donations on:

borderline-europe e.V.
GLS Bank, Bochum
IBAN: DE11430609674005794100
IBAN paperform: DE11 4306 0967 4005 7941 00
BIC: GENODEM1GLS (Bochum)

Donation-Subject: Refugee Support Lesvos

This entry was posted in EU-Turkey Deportation Regime, general, report. Bookmark the permalink.

[Hernals6] Solidaritätserklärung mit den inhaftierten Hernals6 in Wien (Österreich)

We from the “You cant evict solidarity”-solidarity-campaign declare our solidarity with the imprisoned and accused Hernals6 in Vienna and demand their release!

From the lager Moria on Lesbos to the deportation prison Hernalser Gürtel in Vienna, people on the move are resisting the racist and inhuman EU-border-regime and its system of deportation and imprisonment. We stand in solidarity with the six people from Hernalser Gürtel that set their cell in fire in September 2018 to protest against their deportation. As the Austrian governments and medias repressive answer is accusation and imprisonment of the protesters in the prison in Vienna, we will not let ourselves be intimidated and call to support the accused in the upcoming trial and resist the inhuman EU-border-regime.

Our passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons!

More Infos on the case on https://freepazhernals6.noblogs.org.

[Röszke11] Kommt Ahmed H. bald frei?

Im Januar erreicht uns die Nachricht, dass Ahmed H., die letzte Person der Röszke 11 die noch in Haft in Budapest war, nach dreieinhalb Jahren Haft endlich freigelassen werden soll. Über die anstehende Freilassung hat Amnesty International Ungarn einen Artikel geschrieben (s.u.). Es zeigt sich, dass die ungarische Regierung über die Freilassung nicht sehr erfreut ist. Es gibt auch keine Fortschritte bei der Freilassung und Ahmed ist weiter in Haft. Sobald es mehr Informationen zu seiner aktuellen Situation gibt und er tatsächlich frei ist, werden wir hier darüber berichten. Free Ahmed H.!

Artikel von Amnesty International Ungarn (https://www.amnesty.eu/news/hungary-release-of-syrian-man-wrongly-convicted-of-terrorism-an-overwhelming-relief/?utm_source=ECRE+Newsletters&utm_campaign=58311b223a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_22_12_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ec9497afd-58311b223a-422315073):

Hungary: Release of Syrian man wrongly convicted of terrorism, an “overwhelming relief”

• Spokesperson available on the groundAhead of tomorrow’s early release of Ahmed H, a Syrian man who was unfairly jailed for “complicity in an act of terror” during clashes with police at the Serbia-Hungary border in September 2015, Eda Seyhan, Amnesty International’s Europe Counter Terrorism Campaigner, said:“After spending three-and-a-half years behind bars, Ahmed will finally be reunited with his wife and two young daughters. His release is an overwhelming relief for the family, but the fact is he should never have been prosecuted, let alone convicted, for this offence in the first place.

“The absurd charges against Ahmed were emblematic of the systematic scapegoating of refugees and migrants, and those seeking to defend them. His prosecution was a potent symbol of Prime Minister Orbán’s ‘illiberal democracy’. It had nothing to do with justice but was instead part of the Hungarian government’s draconian crackdown on human rights.

“By blatantly misusing terrorism-related provisions and riding roughshod over the law in their treatment of Ahmed, the Hungarian authorities showed they will stop at nothing to demonize refugees and migrants.”

Ahmed is expected to fly back to Cyprus to be reunited with his family soon after his release.

Photos and footage available are here (will be updated after his return to Cyprus) https://adam.amnesty.org/asset-bank/images/assetbox/02b445c9-8e7b-4be0-a31e-7411960c79d6/assetbox.html

For more information or to arrange an interview on the ground contact Aron Demeter demeter.aron@amnesty.hu or +36 709401043 or stefan.simanowitz@amnesty.org / +447936766445 or +44 2030365599
In August 2015, Ahmed left his family home in Cyprus to go and help his elderly parents and six other family members flee Syria and find safety in Europe. One month later, they found themselves among hundreds of refugees stranded at the Hungarian border after police fenced off the crossing with Serbia.

Clashes broke out as some refugees attempted to get through. Hungary’s police responded with tear gas and water cannon, injuring dozens. Some people threw stones, including Ahmed. But news footage also clearly shows Ahmed using a megaphone to call on both sides to remain calm before the clashes.

For this, a Hungarian court found him guilty of involvement in an “act of terror”, under Hungary’s extremely vague counter-terrorism laws, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, later reduced to 7 years and then 5 with eligibility for early release.

Solidaritätserklärung: Solidarität mit der Roten Hilfe!

Laut einem Bericht des Focus plant Bundesinnenminister Horst
Seehofer (CSU) ein Verbot der Solidaritätsorganisation Rote Hilfe e.V.. Dies
fügt sich ein in den derzeitigen gesellschaftlichen Diskurs:

Ob Verschärfungen von Polizeigesetzen oder das Verbot von linksunten.indymedia – der Rechtsruck geht einher mit Repressionen gegen die, die sich dagegen wehren; so auch gegen linke Aktivist*innen. Um diese Repressionen noch effizienter und wirksamer
umsetzen zu können, werden wichtige und strömungsübergreifende Strukturen wie die Rote Hilfe kriminalisiert.

 

Solidarität ist eine Waffe, aber kein Verbrechen!

Die Rote Hilfe ist eine legitime Organisation, die Menschen, welche
von staatlichen Repressionen betroffen sind, unterstützt. Sie ist
eine essentielle Struktur für alle die links-politisch aktiv sind. Ein
Verbot der Roten Hilfe ist ein weiterer Angriff auf uns alle und auf
die Idee einer besseren Zukunft – die Idee Solidarität.

Die Kampagne „You can’t evict Solidarity” erklärt sich deshalb
solidarisch mit der Roten Hilfe!

[Harmanli21] 4 Angeklagte weiter in Haft – andere zur “freiwilligen” Rückkehr gezwungen

Ein Artikel eines Genossen von bordermonitoring.eu (https://bulgaria.bordermonitoring.eu/):

Harmanli 21: Four stay in Lyubimets – the others have asked for repatriation

On the 24th and 25th of October 2018 another court session against the Harmanli 21 took place. The session was attended by seven people out of the 10 people who attended the last court cases. It was reported, that the three missing people have already asked for repatriation and they have returned to Afghanistan. Furthermore three other people out of the seven had as well asked for their repatriation. That means that at the moment four out the initial 21 accused are continuing to stay in the closed facility of Luybimets. They claimed that they will struggle to prove their innocence.

During the two days of the trial in October 30 witnesses of the events from the 24th of November 2016 were testifying. Many of them were representatives of the riot police from Kazanlak, Pleven and Plovdiv and some employees of the State Agency for Refugees (SAR), in particular the ones who are working in the Open Camp of Harmanli. Since now, no accused migrant was allowed to speak about his own perspective. Because of that since the beginning of the trial the police violence was not mentioned once in front of the court. Although the official and appointed defenders (from the state) were shortly asked about it, but they claimed that the accused did not say anything on this topic.

It is interesting to hear that during the quarantine, the camp was totally overcrowded and  it is quite astonishing that the access to the working places of the SAR employees at the open camp in Harmanli was not denied. Neither police members nor SAR workers could identify the accused migrants as part of the group of 50 people who were rioting in November 2016 – out of several thousands who were living there during this moment and protesting peacefully.

Bordermonitoring Bulgaria (BMB) notes that it is very obvious that the Bulgarian State is not interested in a clear enlightenment of what happened on the 24th of November 2016. Instead of that people, who once fled their country and once were registered as asylum seekers in Bulgaria, are urged to leave the country ‚voluntarily‘