Tuesday, January 29, 2013

International Tribunal against the Federal Republic of Germany

International Tribunal against the Federal Republic of Germany

13th to 16th of June 2013 in Berlin

Refugee protest in Tunisia

About 100 rejected asylum seekers from the refugee camp in Choucha are currently protesting in Tunis.


About 100 refugees from the refugee camp in Choucha, which lies on the border between Tunisia and Libya, reached Tunis on Monday 28th January in order to stage a protest that will continue for several days. They had no choice but to live in the desert for two years while the UNHCR negligently worked on their cases, and eventually rejected them as refugees. Since October 2012 they have been denied access to food and medical care. Now the protesters have taken the necessary steps to challenge their isolation and the consequent lack of prospects.

 Idle individuals become activists
The camp in Choucha was established during the Libyan civil war during winter 2011. It offered refugees the opportunity to access an asylum procedure and to travel on to participating states in the framework of the resettlement programme. Over the past two years, daily life in the refugee camp hasn’t had much to offer apart from unbearable periods of waiting while putting up with the heat and sandstorms. This particularly affected refugees who were not recognised as such by the UNHCR.

The camp has to be seen as a part of the externalisation politics of the European Union – it prevented hundreds of people from challenging the EU’s border regime by trying to enter its territory, by embarking on a boat. At the same time, granting access to a limited number of refugees allowed the media to paint a different picture, diverting public attention away from a militarised campaign against migrants. Germany (pop. 82 million) demonstrated its extraordinary generosity by accepting 205 refugees, whereas Tunisia (pop. 10 Mio.) welcomed half a million people during the Libya-crisis. However, only people who hold a refugee certificate are granted access to the resettlement programme. Many of those who the UNHCR did not recognise as refugees have already traveled back to their countries of origin. 230 of them are still in Choucha. They accuse the UNHCR of severe mistakes and negligence in processing their demands for asylum. These errors range from biased and incompetent interpreters, misspelled names of places and families to the cooperation with the government bodies that refugees fled from in the first place.
 The ensuing exclusion and lack of perspectives of this group of about 230 people led to various protests last year and to the most recent demand for an independent review of the rejected cases. In order to make their voices heard, 100 of them traveled to Tunis.

No one is illegal – not even in Tunisia
 The journey to Tunis represents an act of resistance in itself. Because they have been rejected by the UNHCR, the group of 230 refugees are now considered “illegal migrants” by the governent and are not allowed to move freely. That is why they may be arrested, detained and deported at any time if the Tunisian state decides to. Until now the illegalised protesters have only been detained for short periods of time and sent back to Choucha after having been told that the UNHCR is reponsible for them. In this passing on of responsibilities the UNHCR’s most recent course of action is remarkable. Since October 2012 rejected asylum seekers are being denied access to food and medical care. This scandalous and merciless strategy of a reputable humanitarian organisation evidently aims at forcing people to leave.

The refugees keep emphasising that because of persecution and/or war, they cannot return to their home countries – which the UNHCR would have been able to ascertain if it had adequately reviewed their cases. They decisively reject the UNHCR’s cynical suggestion to just go back to Libya1.

This is why two central demands of the current protest are for the UNHCR to resume the supply of food and medicine to the refugee camp, and to allow access to the resettlement programme for everybody who remained in Chocha. The latter demand is also directed at the European Union and all NATO states that caused the current situation by intervening in the civil war in Libya.

To reinforce these demands to the UNHCR and the EU, and to make them accesible to the Tunisian and the international public, the Chocha refugees will stage a protest for several days in Tunis. In order to achieve this, they need support! Please:

* Spread information about the protest via mailing lists, Facebook and by word of mouth!
* Sign the open letter adressed to Ursula Aboubacar, the head of the Tunisian UNHCR, containing the demands of the protesters!
* Participate in the fax campaign and send a fax (english, francais,deutsch) to UNHCR offices in your country, to the Tunisian Representatives and to their headquarters in Geneva.
* Donate money for food, transport and means of telecommunication for the protesters. Transfers can be made to this bank account:
 FFM Berlin
Sparkasse der Stadt Berlin
Account number: 61 00 24 264
Bank code: 100 500 00
Keyword: “Choucha”
* Organise solidarity actions – in front of UNHCR offices all over the world!

Further information you will find at:
Contact Germany: 00491734108642 (deutsch, englisch, francais)
Contact to the Protesters: 004915210453991 (deutsch, english, francais, ‘arab)

1 Libya still does not offer security – black people in particular are constantly threatened by arbitrary arrests and racist violence. Many refugees in Choucha were told about such experiences by people who did return to Libya.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lecture and Discussion with Salomon Wantchoucou on the Refugee Protests in 2012

Lecture and Discussion with Salomon Wantchoucou (Member of THE VOICE Refugee Forum & Flüchtlingsinitiative Wittenberg)

Wednesday, January 30th, 8 pm @ Bonn University Main Building, Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, Auditorium 3 / free entrance
In 2012 a number of refugee protests caught the public’s attention, denouncing their inhuman living conditions and lack of political rights in Germany: In January Mohammad Rahsepar committed suicide in his room in the collective refugee accomodation in Würzburg. A couple of refugees living in Würzburg sewed up their mouths and went on hunger strike.
Hundreds of refugees took part in the refugee march from Würzburg to Berlin and in the Refugee „Tent Action“.
We want to look back on these events, trying to find out how refugees can organize in order to gain political power and realize their interests. What kind of political action can be next?
Plakat 30. Januar 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Refugee Women Conference

The Refugee Women Conferenceis going to take place in Hamburg (Germany)19th  to 20th of April 2013.

More information on http://thecaravan.org

Thursday, January 17, 2013

International Tribunal against the Federal Republic Germany
(June 13-16 2013 in Berlin)
Refugees rising their voices and denouncing the massive abuses committed by the German state.
Invitation to the first gathering for information and mobilization
Saturday, 26th of January 2013, at 1 pm
Lager Fallersleben, Hafenstrasse 28, Wolfsburg

In a coordination meeting in November 2012 refugee activists from North Germany (Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Hamburg) discussed about the preparation for the Tribunal and a mobilization plan for the north region. It was agreed to have a common first gathering in the refugee camp in Fallersleben. Activists from this place informed already their fellow refugees in three other Lagers nearby.
The invitation is addressed to all refugees especially from that area. We also want to invite delegates from the other regions in Germany – south, east and west – and as well serious supporters who are willing to help in the further preparation.
The agenda for the gathering contents:
1 pm – 3.30 pm
  • Welcoming and short presentation of the participants
  • Presentation of the forgone discussion on the Tribunal 2013 and the meaning of testimonies
  • Presentation by delegates of the Lager Fallersleben, Meinersen, Salzgitter, Peine
Break (30 min)
4 pm – 7 pm
  • Discussions on preparation and contributions by the refugee community Niedersachsen for the Tribunal
  • Further mobilization events and documentation work
Lunch ( 60 min)
After the meeting we plan to present some film/video material connected to the topics
We also want to use the opportunity to record some video statements – refugees interview refugees - on the upcoming Tribunal 2013.
Since decades the German state has modified the asylum right to its virtual abolition. … The Tribunal will strengthen our self-confidence and express our solidarity among each other. Too long we remained in fear, too long we believed in their lies about democracy and human rights … It is high time to put the facts on the table and bring it to the Tribunal: Here we are!” Salah from Palestine
We take our right to charge and to judge every act of injustice committed on us! We organize ourselves to protect ourselves against all forms of oppression and persecution and we denounce publicly the crimes and the perpetrators

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez murdered by Turish fascists

In memory of Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Söylemez

Solidarity with the local Kurdish Community!!
Following the shocking assassination of 3 (one very senior) Kurdish
political activists today (10/1/13) demonstrations have been called;
Friday 11/1/13 1pm at the Turkish Embassy London and march to French Embassy
Saturday 12/1/13 All Europe demo in Paris (transport from London)
Sunday 13/1/13 12pm march from Halkevi Kurdish community centre,
Dalston Lane, Dalston ( opposite old CLR James library ) to Kurdish
Community Centre, Haringey, off Green Lanes Ladder.
These murders, in the midst of attempts, by the Kurdish movement to
move to a peaceful political solution after 3 deacdes of war in which
over c.40,000 Kurds died and millions were made refugees, fighting for
basic freedoms, is a massive shock to the large local Kurdish refugee
commmunity and we should come out in solidarity with them.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Calender 2013: „Unite against colonial injustice“

The calender „Unite against colonial injustice“ 2013 by the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants can be ordered on http://thecaravan.org