25 Oct [EN] Donauwörth police attack – Court proceedings against refugees start on November 7 in Augsburg
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
25.10.2018 Call for solidarity
Donauwörth police attack – Court proceedings against refugees start on November 7 in Augsburg
The Bavarian state continues through the criminal justice system to persecute the refugees victimised by the Donauwörth police raid in March. The court proceedings against the Gambian refugees who challenged their unjust sentences will kick off on November 7, 2018 in Augsburg.
In the afternoon of March 14 the residents of the Donauwörth refugee isolation camp experienced a brutal police raid as a follow-up action to the previous night’s police presence in the camp. Around 200 fully armed officers, including riot police, invaded the camp with dogs. 32 Gambian refugees were taken into custody with massive brutality. Two were released on the same day while the other 30 were isolated in pre-trial custody for about two months. Police stigmatised then as “rioters” and “ringleaders”, accusing them of having stopped a deportation of a camp resident to Italy in the night before the raid. They were identified with dubious lists fabricated with the help of the Malteser security personnel.
The Gambian refugee community denounced the accusation of hindering the enforcement of the nightly deportation as obviously unfounded. It was re-affirmed that there was no act of resistance against the police. The police appeared in the camp in an attempt to arrest a Gambian for deportation who was however not in his room nor in the camp on that night. The residents, of different nationalities, simply questioned the police behaviour of random knocking on doors to wake them up in search of the person. The fire alarm was triggered which woke more residents up and prompted them to look for safety.
The exclusive raiding of Gambians in the camp on the following day is an obvious act of institutional racism. There is no doubt that the raid was aimed at weakening the community organising of the Gambian refugees in Donauwörth.
The arrested refugees were isolated for two months in custody based on unfounded accusations of breaching the public peace (Landsfriedensbruch) and in some cases of attacking, insulting and resisting police officers. They were released mid-May with orders for summary punishment (Strafbefehl) based on these accusations. Many were tricked into signing to accept the order in exchange of being released, without understanding the order or of being informed of their appeal rights. Those under 21 years of age were released without further punishment but were declared as guilty and the isolation under difficult conditions was declared as a sufficient punishment in their case. BAMF and the Schwaben Central Foreigners’ Office (ZAB) then joined in these manipulations by dubiously extending the Dublin transfer period from 6 to 12 months for many because they had been imprisoned. The group was further persecuted by Dublin deportations – following Germany’s continued culture of deportation. Some were deported already from prison to Italy to a life on the street, many others shortly after their release.
Because of this unscrupulous cooperation between the criminal justice system and the asylum system, only a handful of the criminalised refugees have managed to take legal action against the penalty orders to defend themselves in court. Some of those deported had a pending appeal against the order for punishment.
Two Gambian refugees will be challenging the accusations at the Augsburg local court on November 7 at 1 pm. We are calling on activists and friends to show their solidarity and come to observe this state legitimation of police violence against refugees. Stop the politically motivated criminalisation of refugees in Bavaria!
Come to court: Amtsgericht Augsburg,
Members of the Donauwörth refugee community and the working group Culture of Deportation
Tel. +49 15214069014 / David Jassey
A testimony on the Donauwörth attack
Donate to support the victims of the Donauwörth police attack, including lawyer costs:
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
IBAN: DE89 7002 0500 0008 8326 02
BIC: BFSWDE33MUE (München)