Tag Archives: Gefängnis

[Athen] No holidays in Petrou Ralli: A LETTER FROM DETAINED WOMEN

An article from our comrades from Bulletinmag in Greece:

No holidays in Petrou Ralli: A LETTER FROM DETAINED WOMEN

On December 19, 2019, was our last visit to Petrou Ralli Detention Center. Once more the number of detainees had increased and reached no50 50 women from 15 different countries. Indonesia, Ethiopia, Albania, Afghanistan, Georgia, Iran, Italy, Cameroon, China, Tibet, Belarus, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, and Turkey. In our effort to talk with them, some police officers were in such close proximity that prevented women to express themselves freely about situations they experience. The behavior of some officers was also provoking towards us.

A characteristic testimony: “When we came here they forbade us to wear our headscarves and told us:” Out of here you can be Muslim, here NO! Here you are Christians… ”

Another testimony: “A police officer invaded into the shower room, while a prisoner was bathing, and made her pull the towel…” At the time, the health of several of them was very bad. Despite our own pressure for two women to be transferred to a hospital as emergency cases, nothing really changed. Τhese women are still very sick. Also, there are no doctors during weekends and during the night time, at Petrou Ralli. On Christmas day we were informed by relatives of prisoners for possible initiation of a few women on hunger strike. The day after our visit they started writing their experiences in the following denunciation letter, where they describe them with their own voices. Experiences that we can simply only imagine. Women from six different countries asked their will for their letter to be publicized. When you have lost everything you do not fear anything.

Their voices should be heard in the whole world. You can discuss it in your assemblies. The organizations and institutions that talk about human rights should stop fooling us and playing with the plight of migrants and refugees, who are led to extermination.

We stand by and admire these women for their bravery and solidarity they show to each other…

No person illegal, no person invisible

Our Rebel sisters are right for the abolition of detention centers and opening of Borders

for stopping illegal racist & misogynist behaviors

for smashing verbal, physical and mental torture

The passion for freedom is stronger than all kinds of prisons

In streets, in squares and prison cells, migrant women you are not alone

The House of Women, for the Empowerment & Emancipation

spiti.gynaikon@gmail.com

(translated in English from the original)

“Greece, Allodapon (Immigrant House) PRISON 20-12-2019

That so-called-immigration office is such a hideous and villainous place that makes anyone forget his/her humanity. Nothing is legal here. Lies, molestation, sexual abuse, diseases, neglection, squalidity, ill-treatment, beating, insult…You literally face with all of these.

Above all, how can they dare? If Europe doesn’t know, how come they dare? Maybe it is a conspiracy! Here we are locked into wards 3-4 times a day which are filthy and full of lice. Only after hitting the iron fences over and over, a policewoman asks «what», by shouting and insulting. They treat us as if we are animals. (not even animals should be treated like this). They took our mobile phones on the first day and didn’t give it back to prevent us to take pictures or videos. Even the lawyers can’t come inside. When the volunteers of organization companies come we are locked. Volunteers are told a lot of lies. For example, they are told we stay here 2 weeks maximum. Most of us are here for 1,5 months. There are people here who stay for 4 months without being told anything.

We are being taken to airing twice a day like herds. When the time is off, they shout ‘Inside’, and lock us inside the wards. When people need to go to the toilets, they have to shout, punch, kick the doors. Sometimes, only sometimes, a policewoman comes after 15-20 minutes. Other times no one comes. Even if one of us dies at those times, no one cares.

Ceylan Pinar Kanli, Turkish. Everybody is sick. Everybody has wounds because of the filth. Some of us even have cysts. For example, I have cysts all over my body. After 5 days, they took me to the doctor inside the immigration house. He said “you should go to the hospital immediately. You need a blood analysis. It is urgent.” Despite that, they make me wait. It has been 5 days.

We do the cleaning ourselves. We have neither shampoo nor soap. Nothing… The ones who have visitors are lucky, what about the others? They ask the ones with visitors to buy things for their needs if they have money. Our friends without money, they either ask to share or they smell.

There is no word to describe the toilets. No detergents, no soaps, nothing! The toilets changed their color because of the dirt and filth. The ones with wet handkerchiefs wrap their noses and face to be able to enter the toilets. The ones without handkerchiefs mostly vomit.

And the policemen! Under the pretext of distributing food, they touch and harass women. This is a horrible place.

The ward on the right belongs to men. The inhuman beating by the police (the victim was a man called MECIT) shouldn’t be ignored. 4 cops kicked him to death barbarously. I can’t forget his ashamed looks because he was beaten in front of all of us.

The food they give both cold and smells! Tomatoes and oranges are rotten. Even to drink water we have a timetable. Water drinking time… We have to drink that disgusting, smelling water. When I said ‘I can’t drink this water. May I buy from outside?’ the policemen laughed a lot and said ‘You have to’. There are a lot of things to say about that place… The sentences on the walls, relentless tears, and continuous supplications.

All are here in that hell.

Alla from Syria, whose headscarf is pulled from her head

Aisha from Somalia, who can’t walk because of the cysts, who is taken to hospital in the middle of the night and when the inflammation gets a bit better, taken back in prison.

And us, who are insulted every day, 1 Iranian, 3 Albanian girls who were abused.

That place is not an immigration office, it is a torture house. I believe I will be able to go out but it’s not only me. After me, there are lots of women who haven’t got any money, a lawyer. They have no one. There are children hereunder 18 and it is not legal.

Please help us. The women who were on indefinite hunger strike ate for the first time after 3 days. No one cares.

Esraa Kreash (Syria), age 22. Esraa is on medication for her psychological condition under the supervision of a doctor twice a day. However, the police gave her only once at night. For a day, they didn’t give her any. Then, Esra didn’t take the pills at night and the next day she took two of the pills. Because she took two pills in a day (she took one in a day for 20 days before), she slept. When she woke up, she went out airing. The police said that the time was off. She had to go inside, but she knew neither English nor Greek. So she didn’t understand.

After that, the police pulled her arms hard and pushed her. Esra attacked the police’s hair. 4 police came from inside. 2 policemen handcuffed her, 2 policewomen hit her arms. And in front of all of us, they dragged her on the floor and locked her in a cell. They left her handcuffed in the cell without food until night. She cried a lot, knocked the door continuously but they didn’t open it until the night shift. She only knows to say ‘sorry’ in English. She said it tons of times, over and over. Only after that, they opened the door. Her roommates asked food for Esra, but they didn’t give any.

She says ‘I haven’t used psychological drugs before. When I came to this prison, the doctor here gave them to me. She is here for 25 days. She has no visitor, neither money nor a lawyer. She retained a lawyer but because she doesn’t have money, the lawyer doesn’t come. She signed for asylum in Leros 3 months ago. Then she went to Lefkada and she was caught there while going to Italy on the ship and was taken to Allodapon. For 3 months, she has been waiting for the interview. 25.12.2019

Meryen Zare, from Iran who was swindled by her lawyer, hasn’t got any money and a lawyer. Neither translator nor visitor. She asked someone who knows English to write a letter to the police saying ‘Please send a translator or I will kill myself.’ Meryem has been waiting for the answer for 3 days. She is all alone, doesn’t know what to do, without a translator. She has gone on an indefinite hunger strike for 3 days. Today we made her eat.

Glory, from Nigeria, has been waiting to be free although she has been here for 2 months and finished 2 interviews. She is still an indefinite hunger striker! 26.12.2019″

Reading the denouncing letter of these women, in comparison with Article 21, on the rights of detainees, from the Decision: “Establishment, operation, and regulation of the aliens’ pre-removal centers(APC)”, one can easily, and leniently speaking, realize the tragic irony:

Regulation of Pre-removal Centers

Article 21

The foreign detainees in the detention centers have the right:

a. To medical treatment and to psychosocial diagnosis and support,

b. To unhindered religious practice, as long as the safety rules of the detention center are not violated

c. Not to be subjects of discrimination (…)

g. To access to a lawyer and in case of inability, providing legal support (…)

n. To be informed via newspapers, magazines, and books with which they are supplied during their visiting hours and to have access to the library (…)

L. To receive from the guards of the detention center the necessary things for their personal hygiene and tidiness,

m. To receive appropriate nutrition with the concern of A.P.C., 3 times a day and

n. To be informed via newspapers, magazines, and books with which they are supplied during their visiting hours and to have access to the library

(there is no and has never been a library at Petrou Ralli)

[Greece] Free Nour – criminalization of refugees as human traffickers

The source of the following article is the petition in change.org: (https://www.change.org/p/european-court-of-human-rights-free-nour-al-sameh) as well as the picture which is taken from this petition too.

Cases of state repression against refugees arriving with boats on greek islands by criminalizing their act of eventually conducting a boat as human trafficking as written below, are no single cases. It is a systematicly policy of deterrence and arbitrariness. We want to make these cases visible. Nour is an exemplary case for this:

Free Nour Al-sameh! 

Nour Al-Sameh is 29 years old ٍSyrian who is unjustly imprisoned in Greece for 4 years now because he flee to Europe for refuge. Just like the Captain of the Sea-Watch Carola Rackete, he acted to save the lives of people on a boat in the Aegean Sea who would otherwise have drowned in the water.

Nour studied Business Management in Syria, he fled his country due to persecution and war that burst in. He stayed in Turkey in an unbearable situation without shelter or job until he managed to leave Turkey, in July 29th 2015. The only possibility for him to seek refuge in Europe was crossing the Aegean Sea in small sailing boat. He was the only person on the boat who could speak English, when the boat was about to sink he called for help using the walky-talky on the boat.

People on the boat were taken by The Greek coast guards accompanied by military forces (according to Nour,this forces were in military uniform, and he thinks that they were speaking in German)
The boat was taken to the harbor of Perya Island in Greece, he was handed to the Greek coast guards. Being blindfolded and handcuffed, Nour was beaten, insulted and humiliated by the Greek police.

He was accused with Human Trafficking and sentenced for 315 years and a fine of 3150000 Euros in June 2016. Similar cases have shown that the court counts prison year by the number of people on the boat. With the support of his friends he managed to get a lawyer and appeal against this decision in November 2017, the judge of  Perya court dismissed the appeal. In another attempt for justice Nour’s lawyer brought the case to the highest court in Greece, the Supreme Court, to win the opportunity for an appeal and to explain his story properly. Since the hearing in the Supreme Court in February 2019 Nour is waiting for an answer on his claim.

Nour’s case is not an exception. Many refugees have been criminalized, arrested and are currently detained in Greek prisons simply because they were fleeing. The Legal Center Lesvos has documented https://legalcentrelesvos.org/category/news/).

“The individuals charged are denied the basic rights to a fair trial, guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as they are routinely denied adequate interpretation, are denied a fair hearing, and convictions are based on the sole fact that the individual was driving the boats attempting to reach Europe from Turkey” In Nour’s case it was simply making a call to ask for help. The Christian Peacemaker Team also documented a trial against refugees concluding

“No one in the courtroom supported the business of human smuggling of refugees—making immense profits by charging huge prices for transporting refugees in very dangerous conditions, usually crowding too many people in unsafe boats, often not giving them life jackets that actually work, or not putting enough fuel in the motor to reach the shore of the Greek island. It’s a horrendous crime against these vulnerable and desperate people. But the people being tried in this courtroom were not the people running these illegal businesses and getting rich.”

https://cptmediterranean.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/seeing-in-the-greek-courtroom/

Here is another article tackling the unjust sentencing of many more people, most likely there are many more like Nour that we haven’t heard of.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/241858/article/ekathimerini/news/three-arrested-for-migrant-smuggling-in-as-many-incidents

Nour is still arrested without any help and his case is forgotten

please sign his petition and share it, Nour deserves our solidarity

Saving lives is not a crime!

We demand Nour’s immediate release!

 

[Roeszke11/Ahmed H.] Ahmed is back home!

We are happy to tell you that 4 years after the brutal attack of the Hungarian state on the protests after the closing of the Roeszke border crossing and the arrests of the eleven people, the so called Roeszke 11, the last person Ahmed H. was finally able to leave the country to Cyprus, back to his family, on the 28th of September 2019.

After several years in prison and through the court instances, the Hungarian state ignored the European wide protests and convicted Ahmed in a fake trial of “terrorism” to prison for 5 years in the end in 2018. Since January 2019 he we was meant to be released from prison but had to stay in deportation detention as Cyprus didn`t want to let him return to his family there.

We wish Ahmed and his family all the best!
Thanks to all people supporting Ahmed and his family and the Roeszke 11 – solidarity will win! Lets fight injustice and the border regime!

Read the statement of Amnesty International:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/09/hungary-syrian-man-unjustly-jailed-finally-allowed-home-to-cyprus/

[Ägäis] Interview on theEU`s fight against “smuggling” – Wieso es nicht nur um Carola Rackete geht

Interview zur Situation der “smuggling cases” – zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean:

Not only European sea rescue organizations are criminalized. Hundreds of migrants seeking protection in Europe are immediately arrested after their arrival by boat on the Greek Islands. They are accused of human smuggling.

The police is looking for the people who were driving the boat. These people are either refugees who could not afford their journey in a rubber dinghy and accept to steer the boat or Turkish citizen not knowing the risk they occur.

One trial against a “smuggler” lasts less than half an hour. In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty. Their average sentence is about 44 years in prison that is to be served for about 19 years. The average fines imposed are over 370.000 Euros.

[Ägäis] The war against smuggling

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean und V.H.

The following short report is based on data collected by the organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) who has been monitoring smuggling trials since 2014. All graphs have been made by CPT-Lesvos. An in-depth analysis of the data collected will be published in autumn 2019.

Criminalizing Migration and Escape Aid

Many people who reach the Greek islands in rubber dinghies have been travelling for months or years to find freedom and safety in the European Union. But surviving the crossing of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece does not mean that they eventually reached safety.

On the Greek hotspot islands, some migrants are regularly arrested from their boats and directly detained and accused of human smuggling. The European Union claims:

“Fighting and preventing human smuggling and trafficking is one of the priorities of the European Union and crucial to address irregular migration in a comprehensive way.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[1]

Jamil from Afghanistan (name changed) experienced what this means. He was sentenced to 90 years in prison of which he will have to serve 25 years and was also convicted to a 13,000 Euro penalty. Jamil was captured driving a refugee boat from Greece to Lesvos. He could not afford to pay for his wife’s and his own journey, so he accepted the offer from the smuggler who asked him to drive the boat and return to get a free ride with his wife. He did not know that driving a boat would be considered a crime. While his wife now lives in Germany, he is still imprisoned – he appealed the court decision but was again convicted.

His example shows that the maxim of fighting human smuggling is not only used to criminalize civilian sea rescue as in the cases of the recent accusations against the captain of the Sea Watch 3 and the crew of the rescue boat Iuventa. It however impacts people who do not hold European passports much more directly. Many of them come as refugees themselves, intending to seek asylum in Europe. While European sea rescuers have so far only been accused for crimes but not convicted, hundreds of migrants have been sentenced to decades in prison with excessive charges.

Arresting “smugglers”

The organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) has been monitoring the smuggling trials since 2014. They found that most of the people accused of smuggling are Turkish citizens and some of them migrants from other countries seeking protection in Europe. All people arrested are male. CPT-Lesvos member Rûnbîr Serkepkanî explains:

“What is common among most of them is that they are poor, they are students, they are migrants who couldn’t afford paying for the travel to the Aegean islands. (…) If you are a Turkish citizen – we have many migrants who are Turkish who have applied for asylum here in Greece – you are automatically accused of being the smuggler or the driver of the boat.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

Dariusz Firla from CPT-Lesvos describes how people labelled as “smugglers” are often identified:

“When the Coast Guard or FRONTEX pick up refugees at sea, they usually ask directly: “Who drove the boat?”. Sometimes people even say, “That was me,” because they don’t know it’s a crime. In some cases, it is simply a matter of refugees who paid less and drive the boat for this, but often it is Turks from poor regions who, for example, had no work and were hired by the smugglers for some pocket money to go and return the boat. Sometimes they are beaten bloody after their arrest until they arrive at the port.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

The Greek Coast Guards in the port of Mytilene, Lesvos. Photo: March 2018

CPT-Lesvos interviewed Tarek (name changed) from Syria who has been detained in Chios prison for 14 months. He explained: “I was beaten from the moment I was arrested at sea until arriving at the police station. I was bleeding.”

After their arrest, people are held in pre-trial detention. CPT-Lesvos found that migrants are on average detained for 7 months before their first trial. There were also cases where the trial was postponed twice, leading to 29 months of pre-detention.

A farce of a court case

One of the major problems in court is a shocking lack of deep processing. CPT-Lesvos timed the duration of 28 trials and found that the average duration of an individual trial was only 28.5 minutes, while the average duration of a joint trial was 43 minutes. Obviously, this makes a thorough investigation of the question of guilt impossible. Furthermore, the translation within the trials is extremely poor.

Table 1: Duration of Trials

In many cases, the defendants are sentenced even if there is hardly any evidence against them. Dariusz Firla explains:

“Sometimes there is only the Coast Guard as witness. For the judges, it can be sufficient if the witness identifies the defendant as the driver of the boat. In one case, the Coast Guard even stated that he had not been present at the rescue operation himself, but that his colleague had told him that the defendant was guilty.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

On top of the lack of deep processing by the judges, the quality of the court-appointed lawyers poses a major problem, especially since most lawyers are only appointed at the day of the trial and have no means to do any investigation for the defence. Sometimes, state or private lawyers also do not appear before the court, as in the case of Tarek (name changed), who had spent 14 months in pre-trial detention. Tarek’s family sold whatever they could to pay for a Greek lawyer, but the lawyer failed to show up on the day of the trial and he was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Life long sentences

In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty of human smuggling and in some cases also of entry to Greece without permission and disobedience. Rûnbîr Serkepkanî states:

“The punishment of people who are accused with or charged with smuggling is higher than murder in Greece. So it is more serious to drive a boat which carries migrants to the Greek islands than murdering people.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

The sentences are calculated adding factors such as the number of people transported, transport without life vests, and if their lives were put in danger (e.g. through capsizing of the boat), which is why the sentence can exceed 100 years. Since the maximum period of factual imprisonment in Greece is 25 years, the sentences is then reduced accordingly. In some cases, mitigating circumstances are taken into account, reducing the penalty to about ten years. Sometimes the deportation of the convicted person is ordered directly after the release. In fact, looking at 41 cases between 2016 and 2017, CPT-Lesvos found that the average sentence of the trials they monitored was about 44 years in prison with an expected actual duration in prison of about 19 years. In addition, there are huge fines imposed, on average more than 370.000 Euros.

Charge Average Sentence
(41 cases)
Average time the sentence is to be served (41 cases)
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money) 48 years 18 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
51 years 19 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
(3) disobedience
32 years 19.5 years
Table 3: Sentence and incarceration
Table 4: Sentence, Incarceration and Money Penalty

The European incarceration of the marginalized

The necessity to prevent human smuggling has been normalized in the European Union. Arrests are supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX and hardly any politician would question the necessity to prevent human smuggling at the EU external borders. The actions of the Greek state and courts are either tacitly supported or ignored.

The EU Commission, FRONTEX and interior ministries tend to mention the need to fight human smuggling in one breath with the necessity to save lives and ensure protection of humans. This was especially made possible through the convergence of discourses around human trafficking, human smuggling and escape aid.[4] The EU claims:

“While trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are two different crimes subject to different legal frameworks they are closely interlinked.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[5]

Trafficking and smuggling may overlap in some cases, however, they are in fact two completely different issues. Trafficking is a forced transfer of people, connected to kidnapping, exploitation and modern slavery, while human smuggling is a response on the restrictive border policies preventing even refugees to be able to cross borders in a legal way.

For the majority of the worldwide population, there is no safe passage and no legal way to enter an EU country and seek asylum or receive a working visa. People are forced to embark on illegalized deadly routes and have no other option but to use the service of facilitators that are in many cases excessively overpriced and risky. The facilitation of people’s journeys is illegalized even if their right to stay is approved through an asylum decision afterwards. Destroying smuggling networks will not save lives – people rely on them to save their own lives.

As the example of Greece shows, the people who are arrested in the fight against human smuggling are exactly those already suffering most from the EU border policies. In many cases, they had no choice and are themselves seeking protection. The anti-smuggling policies at the external border of Greece only hit the smallest link in a chain. Since people often have neither information on the risks they undergo nor a choice, these policies do not even have a deterring effect and only follow a senseless ideology of punishment. Without any need, the lives of marginalized people are destroyed in devastating ways. It is migrants and refugees seeking protection – unheard and without any lobby – who have to pay with their lives and dreams for these misguided and inhumane European policies.


[1]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.

[2] For a recent arrest, see e.g.: Ekathimerini.com, 11.07.2019: Three arrested for migrant smuggling in as many incidents.

[3] See also: CPT Europe, 01.12.2016: Seeing in the Greek Courtroom.

[4] For an in-depth analysis see: Bellezza, Sara; Calandrino, Tiziana, March 2017: Criminalization of Flight and Escape Aid. Borderline-europe.

[5]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.

 

[Ahmed H.] Let Ahmed return home!

We are sharing a text by Amnesty International with the call to let Ahmed H. of the Röszke11 finally return home:

“Cyprus: Ahmed H. must be allowed to return home

Ahmed H. has been separated from his Cypriot wife and two daughters for almost four years. In September 2015, he was imprisoned in Hungary and wrongfully convicted for “complicity in an act of terrorism” in a blatant misapplication of Hungary’s counter-terrorism laws. Ahmed H. was conditionally released on 19 January 2019 and is being held in immigration detention in Hungary. As he is a Syrian national he is at risk being forcibly returned to Syria, a country that is not safe. Cyprus must allow his return home to be reunited with his family.”

Support th ePetition: https://www.amnesty.ie/urgent-action-reunite-ahmed-h-with-his-family/

Fight the border regime, solidarity with all Ahemd and all affected!

[Griechenland] Der Tod der Träume – Eine Stimme aus dem Gefängnis

Veröffentlicht am 13. Mai 2019 von Deportation Monitoring Aegean https://dm-aegean.bordermonitoring.eu/2019/05/13/the-death-of-dreams-a-voice-from-prison/

Viele Menschen, die nach Europa kommen, um Freiheit und Sicherheit zu suchen, befinden sich im Gefängnis. Während die EU-Politik Menschen gewaltsam in überfüllten und mit Stacheldraht versehenen Lagern auf den griechischen Inseln gefangen hält, setzt die griechische Polizei harte Repressionsstrategien ein, um Konflikte und Proteste aufgrund der unerträglichen Lebensbedingungen in den Lagern zu unterdrücken.

Migranten auf den griechischen Inseln befinden sich in einer Situation der Inhaftierung – unabhängig davon, ob sie eine Straftat begangen haben oder nicht, sie müssen nicht nur die ständige Unsicherheit des Lagers ertragen, sondern auch unter der ständigen Gefahr leben, verhaftet und festgehalten zu werden.

Im Folgenden geben wir den Bericht von Aftab Mohammadi (Name geändert), der im Juli 2018 im Lager Moria verhaftet wurde. Es ist eine von vielen Geschichten über eine  grausame Inhaftierungspraxis.

Nachricht eines Gefangenen aus dem Knast in Chios: Vor neun Monaten war es eine Nacht wie andere Nächte. Es gab einen Kampf im Lager zwischen einigen wenigen Leuten, der mehr als zwei Stunden dauerte. Der Kampf begann zwischen zwei Leuten und nach einer Weile wurden andere im Lager involviert. Es begann alles mit den schlechten Bedingungen, die im Lager leben müssen. Einige haben mentale Probleme, weil sie unter diesen schrecklichen Bedingungen leben und keine mentale Unterstützung haben.

Die Polizei war anwesend und sie sahen, was passiert war. Ich fühlte mich in dieser Nacht schrecklich, besonders als ich sah, dass die Kinder ihre Mütter festhielten, sie hatten große Angst und weinten. Die Polizisten lachten über die Leute. Für sie war es wie ein Online-Film. Wir baten sie um Hilfe, aber sie lachten uns nur aus, machten Fotos und nahmen uns auf.

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[PAZ Hernals 6] Angeklagte PAZ Hernals 6 in Wien verurteilt

Am 14. September 2018 brannte es im Abschiebegefängnis (PAZ) am Hernalser Gürtel in Wien. Eine Zelle war als Widerstand gegen Inhaftierung und bevorstehende Abschiebungen angezündet worden.

Am 23. März 2019 gegen 18 Uhr wurde am Wiener Landesgericht der Prozess gegen die sechs Angeklagten wegen des Brandes im Polizeianhaltezentrum Hernalser Gürtel fortgesetzt und schließlich ein Urteil gefällt.

Nach über sechs Monaten in Untersuchungshaft endet für drei der Verurteilten der Strafprozess mit Haftstrafen auf Bewährung. Allerdings wird von Seiten der Justiz bereits die Überstellung ins Abschiebegefängnis PAZ vorbereitet.

Die drei weiteren Angeklagten wurden zu mehrmonatigen Haftstrafen ohne Bewährung verurteilt. Das Urteil blieb allerdings weit hinter den Forderungen des Staatsanwalts zurück: Die Verurteilten wurden weder für Brandstiftung, noch für vorsätzliche, sondern für fahrlässige Sachbeschädigung, Gemeingefährdung und Körperverletzung schuldig gesprochen.

[Bulgarien] Bulgaria is about to deport a political refugee to Turkey

The following text is written by Bordermonitoring Bulgaria:

Bulgaria is about to deport a political refugee to Turkey

On March 1^st 2019, the Bulgarian police has detained a Turkish citizen from the Kurdish minority Mr. Ilhan Karabag, who was living in Bulgaria for 3 years. He lived in Ovcha Kupel in a camp of the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). The reason given for his arrest is a request for deportation from the Turkish state on the account of participating in a political organization which is banned in Turkey. He is not persecuted for any other crimes aside from being a member of the said banned organization.

Since the moment he was arrested Mr. Karabag is detained at the main building of the National Investigative Service with the right to receive visitations only two times per month. Until now he has attended three sessions in the Sofia City Court (SCC). On the last two of them a representative of the Turkish diplomatic mission in Bulgaria was present in the court hall. The presence of this representative is seen as a brutal attempt to put pressure on the decision of the court. On April 9^th the court has decided to deport Mr. Karabag but the decision is appealed in front of a higher court – the Sofia Court of Appeal (SAC).

The date for the next session is still to be announced. The unfortunate decision of the court means that Mr. Karabag is facing a long-term prison sentence in Turkey for being politically active and without committing an actual crime. The Initiative for Migrant Solidarity issued a statement against the deportation of Mr. Karabag: „Taking the decision for the deportation of Mr. Karabag in Turkey, the Bulgarian state is easily sending a human life into the hands of the Turkish authoritarian jurisdiction and violates the international conventions for providing refuge to the politically persecuted people.“

<https://balkaninsight.com/2016/10/18/bulgaria-denies-controversial-deportation-of-gulen-supporters-to-turkey-10-18-2016/>

In the recent years there were other instances happening, that have ended quickly with the deportation of Turkish citizens from Bulgaria to Turkey.

<https://bulgaria.bordermonitoring.eu/2016/08/15/push-backs-bulgarian-turkish-cooperation-will-lead-to-more-violation-of-human-rights/>

Bordermonitoring Bulgaria (BMB) is sharing the concern of an unfair asylum procedure, which is furthermore based on the statistics of applications and granting of protection status at first instance in the last year:

<https://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/bulgaria/statistics>

Not a single person from Turkey who asked for asylum in the year of 2018, was accepted by the SAR.

On May 29th 2019 the Sofia Administrative Court will decide to accept or reject Mr. Karabag’s appeal for political asylum in Bulgaria. In the previous court session there was at least one presence of a Turkish diplomat. On May 28th 2019 the SAC will decide on his deportation. His eventual following deportation would result in his immediate incarceration, as Mr. Karabag has been sentenced in Turkey to 6 years and 3 months in jail.

[PAZHernals6] Angeklagte zu Haftstrafen verurteilt

Wir dokumentieren einen Artikel der “Freiheit für die PAZ Hernals 6”-Initiative aus Wien (https://freepazhernals6.noblogs.org/) vom 24. März 2019:

2. Prozesstag und Urteil: „Heim“ ins Abschiebegefängnis
Am zweiten Prozesstag wird die Vernehmung der sechs Geflüchteten fortgesetzt. Die Justiz-Akteur_innen befragen Herrn X. (Name geändert) weiter und anschließend die zwei letzten Angeklagten.

Die Beschuldigten werden immer wieder mit Aussagen der anderen konfrontiert, die ihren eigenen widersprechen, und die Richter_innen, Staatsanwaltschaft und Anwält_innen so darstellen, als würde jeweils „gegen sie ausgesagt“ werden. Die meisten von ihnen bemühen sich dennoch um eine mit ihren Mitangeklagten solidarische und achtsame Prozessführung. Auch an diesem Prozesstag versuchen die Angeklagten, ihre schwierige Situation verständlich zu machen und kämpfen dabei gegen rassistische Justiz-Mechanismen und Demütigungen durch die Justiz-Akteur_innen an.

„Es kommt mir nicht wie das Leben vor“

Herr Y. spricht über seine Depressionen, seine Schmerzen, sein seit einem Autounfall beeinträchtigtes Kurzzeitgedächtnis. Er sagt, er hat den anderen erzählt, dass sich in Deutschland jemand am Flughafen eine Verletzung zugefügt hat, um seine Abschiebung zu verhindern, er erzählt von seinen Gedanken, sich ebenfalls zu verletzen, um nicht abgeschoben zu werden. Ereignisse, die die psychische Not der Angeklagten ausdrücken, hält Staatsanwalt Bohé Herrn Y. als „Ordnungswidrigkeiten“ vor, wie er das Aussprechen von Suizidgedanken oder eine Ohnmacht, die Schließer_innen als „vorgetäuscht“ dokumentieren, nennt. Passiert sind diese teilweise erst nach dem Brand in Untersuchungshaft, sodass fraglich ist, inwiefern sie für den Prozess relevant sind, außer um Feststellungen zu treffen wie die von Richterin Skrdla über Herrn Z. (Name geändert), bei dem es ebenfalls um sein Verhalten in Untersuchungshaft geht: „Er hält sich einfach an keine Regeln.“

Er hält sich an keine Regeln

In Herrn Z.s Aussage kommt ebenfalls – wie schon in Aussagen der anderen – zur Sprache, wie traumatisiert die Angeklagten durch das Feuer sind: „Seit dem Feuer weiß ich nicht, was ich glauben soll, es kommt mir nicht wie das Leben vor, es war sehr gefährlich.“ Richterin Skrdla hält den Angeklagten mehrmals vor, was einer von ihnen ausgesagt hat: „Den Plan, ein kleines Feuer zu machen mit viel Rauch und so auf die Situation aufmerksam zu machen und die Abschiebung zu verhindern.“ Es ist ungewöhnlich, diese Sätze von einer Richter_innenbank aus zu hören, von der aus abgelehnte Asylbescheide oder drohende Abschiebungen stets dethematisiert und schnellstmöglich vom Tisch gewischt werden, wenn sie in anderen Prozessen zur Sprache kommen.
keine homogene Geschichte

Nach Abschluss der Befragung der sechs Angeklagten ist eines klar: Der einheitlich abgestimmte, logisch inszenierte Plan der Feuersbrunst, die Version der Geschichte, die der Staatsanwalt vertritt, existiert nicht. Die Geschichten bleiben unübersichtlich, widersprüchlich, überschneiden sich und widersprechen einander, erzählen von ausweglosen Situationen, Verzweiflung, Hoffnung und der geteilten Absicht, sich den drohenden Abschiebungen nicht einfach zu fügen, dafür Verletzungen in Kauf zu nehmen und das Risiko zu sterben einzugehen.
„… meilenweit von einem Vollbrand entfernt“

Der erste geladene Zeuge ist der Brandsachverständige. Er sagt, dass das Feuer „meilenweit von einem Vollbrand entfernt“ gewesen ist und sich in der Entstehungsphase befunden hat. Seine Aussage entzieht wohl dem Vorwurf der versuchten Brandstiftung die Grundlage. Der Vertreter der Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft BIG, die Eigentümerin des PAZ Hernals ist, war nur für die Sanierung der Zelle zuständig, kann aber nichts zum Zustand der Zelle erzählen. Und zwei der drei Schließer_innen haben eine Person aus der Zelle geholt, die bewusstlos am Boden gelegen ist, aber es waren nicht sie, die die fünf anderen Angeklagten aus dem Badezimmer gebracht und das Feuer gelöscht haben, sondern die Feuerwehr, die nicht zum Prozess geladen ist. Auch sprechen sie nicht von über 50 Personen, die evakuiert worden seien, sondern von 20 bis 30 Menschen. Nach den Zeug_innen-Befragungen rudert die Richterin bezüglich versuchter Brandstiftung zurück und schlägt den Anwält_innen vor, bevor sich diese mit den sechs Geflüchteten beraten: „Falls der Fall nicht unter versuchter Brandstiftung subsumierbar ist, kommen auch schwere Sachbeschädigung, vorsätzliche oder fahrlässige Gemeingefährdung sowie vorsätzliche oder fahrlässige Körperverletzung in Frage.“ Alle Angeklagten weisen die Vorwürfe zurück, vorsätzlich gehandelt zu haben.

Ein Urteil im Sinn eines schwarzblauen Abschiebesystems
Nach einer guten Stunde Beratungszeit wird das Urteil verkündet, aus dem jede Erwähnung von Protest gegen drohende Abschiebungen und der Inszenierung eines Brandes vollkommen getilgt ist.
Die Sechs werden schuldig gesprochen, gemeinsam Kästen vor die Tür geschoben zu haben, gemeinsam einen Abschiedsbrief geschrieben und jeweils ein Handtuch angezündet und aufs Bett gelegt zu haben. In der Urteilsbegründung des Senats werden die drohenden Abschiebungen und der Versuch, sie zu verhindern, wieder zentral angesprochen: Die Abschiebungen aller hätten sehr nahe gestanden, man hätte versucht, die Abschiebung zu verhindern, mit einem Feuer, gerade groß genug, um aufmerksam zu machen.Der Schuldspruch bezieht sich auf schwere Sachbeschädigung, fahrlässige Körperverletzung sowie fahrlässige Gemeingefährdung. Der zulässige Strafrahmen von bis zu zwei Jahren ist in den Urteilen unterschritten, das Urteil bleibt weit hinter den Forderungen der Staatsanwaltschaft zurück. Das härteste Urteil trifft Herrn Z. mit zwölf Monaten unbedingter Haft (plus Umwandlung einer Vorstrafe von 10 Wochen in unbedingte Haft), über zwei der Angeklagten werden bedingte Strafen verhängt, bei einem dritten ist der unbedingte Teil der Gefängnisstrafe drei Monate lang. Diese drei sind demnach viel länger im Untersuchungsgefängnis gesessen. UrteilsverkündungDas bedeutet, dass drei der Angeklagten am selben Abend entlassen werden: “Sie gehen heute heim”, sagt die Richterin.

Das Statement der Justiz: „Wir haben keinen Einfluss, wir wissen es auch nicht“

„Werden wir trotzdem abgeschoben?“, fragt einer der PAZ 6. „Das weiß ich nicht, das liegt an der Fremdenpolizei. Wir haben da keinen Einfluss, wir wissen es auch nicht“, antwortet Richterin Skrdla, etwa zur selben Zeit, als Journalist_innen schon darüber schreiben, dass eine nahtlose Überstellung ins Abschiebegefängnis bereits organisiert ist. „Nahtlos“ beschreibt auch das Ineinandergreifen von Justiz und Abschiebesystem. Das Urteil ist nicht das laute aufsehenerregende Urteil geworden, das Protest gegen Abschiebungen mit jahrelangen Gefängnisstrafen ahndet. Es ist ein Urteil, das die Angeklagten im Vergleich zu ähnlichen Fällen der letzten Jahre, in denen es um Feuer in Abschiebegefängnissen ging, mit recht niedrigen Gefängnisstrafen belegt. Es ist ein Urteil, das aussagt: “Es ist uns egal, was ihr macht. Ihr könnt euch verletzen, ihr könnt euch töten, niemals werdet ihr ein Recht auf Aufenthalt erzwingen, indem ihr Regeln verletzt.”

Die SechsEs ist ein zurückhaltendes und nicht weniger politisches und grausames Urteil, das sich aus der Verantwortung nimmt und zu einer effizienten Abschiebungsmaschinerie beiträgt, die sich die schwarzblaue Regierung wünscht – einer Abschiebungsmaschinerie, die allerdings niemals reibungslos sein wird, weil auch dieses Urteil nicht dazu führen wird, dass Menschen ein rassistisches Abschiebe-, Justiz- und Gefängnissystem hinnehmen werden.