The VOICE Refugee Forum (Community Network)

Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion

Nationwide Activists Meeting in Refugee Cities in Germany
Break Deportation Prepar-Tainment Refugees Platform

The VOICE Refugee Forum – A Network of Refugee Community Initiatives in Germany

Break the Deportation DNA Chain: "Refugee Black Box – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" - Beyond the Court rooms!

Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jawaid: The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption

The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption: Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan

Greetings and Solidarity from Refugee Political Community Germany to Refugee Protest March in Bavaria

English/French/Deutsch:
Sei realistisch, versuch das Unmögliche! Be realist, look for the impossible! Soyez réaliste, chercher l'impossible! Power to the people - Solidarity meeting from Hamburg by Refugee-Migrants Political community

French/English/Deutsch:
"Nous venons chez vous" - La communauté des réfugiés a besoin de vous!
„Wir kommen zu euch“ - Die Flüchtlings-Community braucht euch!
"We are are coming to you" - The refugee community needs you!
Review on Break Deportation Culture – Deportation is criminal and we fight to stop it!

Hamburg: "We are coming to you" – The refugee community needs you!

The Political MOVEMENT - Appeal to Refugee Communities for Solidarity Network in Germany and Europe
Please join us for a life decided by our quest for a free society, equality and human dignity.

No Refugee is Criminal - Deportation is Collective Crime and Corruption

In Solidarity with North African Deportees and Victims of Deportation from Germany.

Appeal for Refugee Community Network from: Konradsreuth – Bayern

Moneer and Nadja's Struggles and Solidirity with the refugee community in Thuringia: - Statements by Moneer Alkadri und Nadia Ghnim from Syria: Demand for official transfer to Jena and payment of social allowance by State of Thuringia and Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Zu Moneers und Nadias Kämpfen und zur Solidarität mit der Flüchtlingscommunity in Thüringen:
- Statements von Moneer Al Kadri und Nadia Ghnim aus Syrien: Forderung nach offizieller Umverteilung nach Jena und nach Zahlung von Sozialleistungen durch den Staat Thüringen und zur Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Miloud Lahmar Cherif von Beleidigungsvorwurf gegen rassistisch kontrollierende Bundespolizisten freigesprochen

Meine Stellungnahme zu den Anschuldigungen der Bundespolizei
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif, The VOICE Refugee Forum

My statement on the federal police's charges against me on racist control
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif

Petition gegen den Abschiebeterror an der Familie Arsič - Breitenworbis Flüchtlingslager in Thueringen

Erfurt Declaration of Radmila Anić concerning her menace in Serbia
Erfurt: Erklärung von Radmila Anić zu ihrer Bedrohung in Serbien

The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany:
The Refugee: Base on Our History 1994 to 2014
Call for a Coordinated Regional Community Assembly
Reward 2015: The refugee political resources in Germany

O-platz Berlin Bus Tour 2015

English German French
Refugee Manifestation For Freedom and Liberty in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 16.04.2015
Stop Abuse! Legalize the so Called “tolerated refugees in Germany! Stop Destroying Refugees' Perspectives! With Guests Speakers from Schwäebish Gmünd

Civil Disobedience - Protest Tour Against Residenzplcht
Grassroots movement and resistance of refugee activists from Schwaebisch Gmuend against residenzpflicht imprisonment

Residenzpflicht bedeutet weiterhin Apartheid”
Weiter Protest gegen Erzwingungshaft für Flüchtlingsaktiviste
Ziviler Ungehorsam gegen Strafverfolgung bzgl Residenzpflicht
27.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum zur Flüchtlingsdemonstration gegen Residenzpflicht in Schwäbisch Gmünd
07.03.2015: Erklärung
English:
“Residenzpflicht still means Apartheid” - “Lager still means elimination”
25.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum on The Refugee Demonstration against Residenzpflicht in Schwaebisch Gmünd - Campaign for Freedom and liberty
07.03.2015: Declaration by Schwäbisch Gmünd Refugee Activists

Videos:
-Keeping Resistance Against Oppression!
-1/3
-2/3
-3/3

Refugee Tour
Solidarity Call for Civil Disobedience from Refugee Initiative Schwäbisch Gmünd
Wuppertal 23.03., Hamburg und Erfurt 24.03., Kiel 25.03., Bremen 26.03., Berlin 27.03.15,. Konstanz 01.04., Schwäbisch Gmd 06.04.15, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 16.04.2015

Breaking the isolation culture – We are isolated from the refugee communities!

Keep On - Close down Breitenworbis refugee isolation camp in Thüringen


Here is the .Radio report and Interview of Mbolo Yufanyi on the 20yrs. The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deportation is the Last Ring of Slavery Chain - Break the Culture of Deportaion, Isolation, Elimination.
Refugee Political Worshops and Media: 20years of Refugee Resistance in Anniversary of 20years.The VOICE Refugee Forum in Germany

20yrs.The VOICE Refugee Forum:
Faltblatt - Flyers in English / Deutsch / French / Arabic
The Call for Donation:
Everyone 20€ --- Dein Geburtstagsgeschenk für 20 Jahre The VOICE Refugee Forum


Review and invitation: Preparatory meetings on of The VOICE Refugee 20yrs. Anniversary in Jena

Deutsch:
Rückblick und Einladung: Die Vorbereitungstreffen zum 20. Jahrestag von The VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena
20. Jubiläum von The VOICE Refugee Forum - 20 Jahre Widerstand von Flüchtlingen in Deutschland

Brutal Police Murder in Germany
Oury Jalloh -Das War Mord / He Was Murdered in Police Cell 5 Dessau:
Innenansichten vor BGH Urteil - Statement Moctar Bah

Revisionsentscheidung des BGH im Fall Oury Jalloh vom 17.08.2014:
Conakry (Guinea): Visum für Bruder des toten Oury Jallohs trotz Einladung durch den BGH verweigert
:

Text in Deutsch:
Pressemitteilung GBA zum Todesfall Oury Jalloh - Gegenvorstellung von Thomas Ndindah gegen den OStA beim BGH Dr. Matthias Krauß
Im Todesfall Oury Jalloh: Thomas Ndindah vs GBA am BGH - Bezug: Ihr Antwortschreiben vom 11. Februar 2014 – AZ 2 APR 308/13-5

Spread the Solidarity - United we speak out for freedom of movement
The VOICE Refugee Forum on Archives of our 10years Anniversary in October, 2004 in Berlin:
As we approach the 20th Anniversary of Refugee Resistance this year in October, we will be spreading the documented texts and impressions from our Archives on Residenzpflicht campaign and the struggles to speak out for freedom of movement

Deportation is Torture and Murder - Stop Police Brutality against Refugees and Activists: - PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - First anniversary of our protest inside and outside of the Nigerian Embassy in 2012

STOP COLONIAL INJUSTICE – STOP DESTROYING OUR COUNTRIES
STOP KILLING REFUGEES – ABOLISH FRONTEX:

FOR THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

We stand together to reclaim the power of human dignity and solidarity against the state repression of refugees in Germany

Refugee Protest Actions - United Against Colonial Injustice

Mass murder in Lampedusa: Shame on EU! Refugee Protest in Rome, 10.October, 2013

The VOICE Refugee Forum - Guideline to Refugee Protest Strike in Eisenberg Reception Camp

Roma Initiative Thüringen: Report of Action Days July 25th – 27th in Jena and Eisenberg

Panel Roma ( Refugee Tribunal )

Streik der Flüchtlinge in der Thüringer Landesaufnahmestelle in Eisenberg für u.a. Flüchtlinge vom 30.07.2013.
VideoDoc: Erste Streik der Flüchtlinge in der LAST Eisenberg

25 - 27. 07 in Jena: ROMENGO DROM – The WAY OF ROMA PEOPLE
Demonstration in Jena - Stop the Deportation of Roma

Bad Mergentheim and Külsheim Refugees Protest in Stuttgart


Liberation Bus Tour in Bad Mergentheim - Refugee Strike in Stuttgart The VOICE Refugee Forum Network Video Channel

The Lager Watch Group on Eisenhüttenstadt - Stop Deportation Factory!

BREAK ISOLATION!
pdf: ABOLISH ALL LAGERS! - STOP DEPORTATION! Refugees of Eisenhüttenstadt!

LIBERATION BUS TOUR – FINALER AKTIONSTAG IN STUTTGART

08.6. Demo for Lampedusa in HH. District Office Hamburg-Mitte prevents the construction of tents with the help of police force

Bundesweite Kampagne und Netzwerk Bericht über Aktivitäten und Unterstützungsaufruf

Refugees gestoppt auf dem Weg zu Blockupy / Refugees stopped on their way to Blockupy.

Everywhere in these isolation-camps people lack their basic human rights - Break Isolation Strike Tour in Niedersachsen

"Lampedusa in Hamburg":
Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte verhindert mit Polizeikräften Zeltaufbau für obdachlose Flüchtlinge

Video Refugee Testimony: More than 20 years in Isolation Camp Brandenburg - Germany

Miloud L. Cherif - Video Collection on Campaign for Civil disobedience against "Residenzpflicht" Refugee Movement Restriction
English: Take Urgent Action! FAX- Campaign against Residenzpflicht and political persecution of Miloud L. Cherif
Deutsch: Fax-Kampagne gegen Residenzpflicht und die politische Verfolgung von Miloud L. Cherif

Aktion am Hauptbahnhof Erfurt; 22.5. um 15 Uhr Residenzpflicht abschaffen – Rassistische Polizeikontrollen stoppen! Freiheit für Miloud L Cherif und alle anderen!

Video Collection of Refugee Testimony and Appeals from Liberation Bus

Break Isolation - Refugee Strike in Germany
26.April till 08.June 2013
New Videos and Reports on Refugee Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern 26th of April till 8th of June in Stuttgart.

Niedersachsen Refugee Liberation Bus Tour (16 – 22 of May 2013) Break Isolation Refugee Strike

Aufruf zur öffentlichen Prozessbeobachtung im Asylverfahren von Salomon Wantchoucou

2nd Declaration and Call for serious conversations "Lampedusa in Hamburg"
„Lampedusa in Berlin, Hamburg and Bielefeld”

The Criminality of the European Authorities - Interview with Affo Tchassei
„Wir sind hier und gehen nicht zurück“
Protest im UNCHR Berlin
„We are here and we don’t go back!” - “Nous somme ici et nous ne retournerons pas!”

Break Isolation Strike in Refugee Lagers - camps

PRENZLAU: Protest against racist attacks of Refugees

Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern
Schließt euch uns an und unterstützt die Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg und Bayern!

Join us to support the Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern

Update News:
Polizei schikaniert die Refugees Liberation Bus Tour: Offene Protestnote an die Grün-Rote Landesregierung von Baden-Württemberg

Demonstration - Samstag, 18. Mai 2013, 16 Uhr, Willy Brandt-Platz:
für ein Ende rassistischer Polizeigewalt und gegen institutionellen Rassismus
In Erinnerung an Christy Schwundeck – Getötet durch die Polizei in Frankfurt/Main

OUR RIGHTS TO EXIST AS FREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CRIMINALIZED BEFORE OUR NAMES ARE KNOWN: WE WILL FIGHT BACK UNTIL WHEN WE TAKE BACK THE POWER OF SOLIDARITY TO BREAK OPEN THE PRISON GATES FOR THE VICTIMS OF RACIST PERSECUTION IN GERMANY.

Action in Thüringen

On the Move! “Break Isolation Strike”
Refugee liberation strike action in Heidenheim Baden Württemberg 29th April 2013
Refugee Demonstration and liberation Bus Tour 2013 Refugees Liberation Bus Tour Video reports by Crosspoint

"Enough is enough" - refugees in Wolfsburg raise their voice
Bericht vom Demonstration am 27.04.2013 in Wolfsburg Break Isolation Solidarity Act - “Genug ist genug”

Polizei kriminalisiert Treffen in Thüringer Flüchtlingsheimen und belagert das Grünowski

BREAK ISOLATION and Solidarity Act in Thueringen: Jena, Greiz, Gerstungen, Waltershausen und Erfurt

Unterstützt die Faxkampagne - Offener Brief der Frauen aus dem Isolationslager Breitenworbis

Thousands of balloons - World Wide Roma Day

Am 8. April war der internationale Tag der Roma, um für die Rechte der Roma zu kämpfen und auf die Situation der Roma aufmerksam zu machen! - Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Pressemitteilung von Miloud Lahmar Cherif zur Situation seiner Familie in Deutschland

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013
*April 2013 in 7 Regionen Deutschlands – Göttingen 08-09.04., Essen - NRW 09.04., Berlin and Prenzlau 08-13.04., Frankfurt 10-11.04. (Kundgebung im Containerlager Oberursel 11.04.), Hamburg 13.04., Bielefeld 16.04., Trier 20.40 Jena / Thueringen , 22-26.04.

English:
We are at a crucial turning point to make refugee isolation lager HISTORY in Germany.

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013 - Input by The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deutsch:
Break Isolation Conference und Solidarity Act 2013 - Input von The VOICE Refugee Forum

Thousands of balloons - 8. April 2013 for World Wide Roma Movement
Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Refugee Workshop in Berlin Protestcamp

Choucha Camp Refugee Protest in Tunisia - Sit-in migrants de Choucha Tunis - Break the isolation! Solidarity with Fighting Refugees Camp in Choucha / Tunisia

Interviews in English and French:

Break Isolation of Refugees - Karawane Festival Speech by Osaren in Jena: Chant down the babylon Germany

We are protesting to close down all Refugee Isolation Lagers in Thueringen:
Refugee lager Camp Protest
Join the ongoing Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Breitenworbis
Greiz
Gerstungen isolation
Successfully Closed down refugee lagers in recent years
2012 Isolationslager Zella Mehlis
2011 Ghetto Sömmerda/Gangloffsömmern
2010 Isolationslager Katzhütte!
2009 Isolationslager Gehlberg
2009 Ghetto: Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Apolda - Stobraer straße in Thüringen
2007 Flüchtlingsheims Freienbessingen

Sachsen-Anhalt
Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Bitterfeld
Flüchtlingsisolationsheim Marke
Vockerode
Successfully Closed down refugee lager in Sachsen-Anhalt
2012 Isolationslager Möhlau

2011 Ein Überblick: Isolation der Flüchtlingslager in der Nachbarschaft zu brechen - Die Agenda von The VOICE Refugee Forum
An Overview of „The VOICE“ Agenda – Break the Refugee Isolation Camps in the Neighbourhoods
2003 Stop all deportations! Close all detention and deportation centers for refugees and migrants!

Asylbewerber Asylbewerber
Abschiebung Abschiebung
Residenzpflicht Residenzpflicht
Frontex Frontex
Refugee Embassy Refugee Embassy
Colonial Injustice Colonial Injustice
Police Brutality Police Brutality
Isolationslager Isolationslager
BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

* * * * * * * *

Dossier zu den Morden an Sakine, Fidan und Leyla Morde an den kurdischen Frauenrechtsaktivistinnen Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan und Leyla Şaylemez, die sich am 9. Januar 2013 im Zentrum von Paris ereigneten

Video: Dessau 7.01.2013 - Oury Jalloh Demonstration

Verbrannt in Polizeizelle Nummer fünf Busse nach Dessau (7.1.) zur Erinnerungsdemo für Oury Jalloh

: Abschiebung und Pressekonferenz - Refugee Camp Vienna
Refugee Protest Camps:
Vienna Austria
Berlin Germany

Break Isolation Berlin – Statement of the Refugee Protest Camp at Oranienplatz Berlin
Enough is enough. It's time for resistance!

New Videos Refugee Protest camps: Solidarity from Vienna and Berlin
Endorse the International Statement of Solidaritya from Refugee Protest in Vienn
Wien Press: Votiv-Lager war angemeldet - War Räumung des Protest-Camps illegal? Flüchtlingscamp vor der Votivkirche

Video: Police Vandalism in Wien - Refugee Protest Camp evicted! Polizeiliche Räumung des Refugee Protest Camp in Wien
Video:Refugees on Hunger Strike / Refugees im Hungerstreik

Reboot FM about the : Refugee Tribunal in Berlin (June 13-16.2013)

PM The VOICE Refugee Forum on Oury Jalloh: Magdeburger Strafgerichtskammer verhindert Aufklärung - (k)ein Ende einer Farce

Austine and the Residenzpflicht

"October 12. 2012. On the way from Schwäbisch Gmund (Baden Württenberg) to Berlin, to take part to the Refugee Protest March Demonstration of October 13, Austine, Charles, Chima, Egbo, Henry and Obinna are target of a police racial profiling control in Hof's Station.

Rex Osa’s Testimony by Affidavit for The INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS TRIBUNAL IN MANILA Quezon City, Philippines
The VOICE- Protocol 11.11.12 in Berlin: O&A with Alassane Dicko and Rex Osa on Beyond the borders Conference in Berlin

CARAVAN for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Strengthening the unity of refugee struggles against colonial injustice in Germany

Stärkt die Einheit der Flüchtlingskämpfe gegen koloniales Unrecht in Deutschland - Abschlusserklärung des Break Isolation Camp

3Sat mediathek Report: Für mehr Menschenwürde
Flüchtlingsproteste in Deutschland: Die Proteste von Asylbewerbern in Deutschland nehmen zu, insbesondere seit sich ein Asylbewerber in Würzburg Anfang 2012 das Leben genommen hat und zwei iranische Flüchtlinge sich die Münder zugenäht hatten und in Hungerstreik getreten waren. Inzwischen hat sich in acht deutschen Städten eine Protestbewegung von Flüchtlingen...?
Break Isolation Protestmarsch und Protest der Flüchtlinge für die unverzügliche Schließung des Isolationslagers in Breitenworbis, Mühlhauser Straße 35 am 29.08.2012 auf 3Sat mediathek

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THE OURY JALLOH STORY - African Community Vows to Fight On: Interview with Mouctar Bah and A Case Trail

THE OURY JALLOH STORY
African Community Vows to Fight On

It was in the early morning of 7 January 2005 in the eastern German town of Dessau. According to the accounts of the police, an African man was arrested for drunken behaviour and taken to the police station. There, Oury Jalloh, then an asylum-seeker from Sierra Leone, was searched and a blood sample taken from him. He was then locked up in a single cell with his feet and hands tied to the bed.

About midday, the fire alarm in the cell went off twice and cries for help were heard coming from the cell, which were all ignored by the policemen on duty. By the time a policeman finally went into the cell, it was the charcoaled body of Oury Jallo that he met; he had supposedly set his fireproof mattress on fire with a cigarette lighter although his hands and feet were shackled to the bed.
The accounts of the police were vehemently rejected by human rights activists and African community groups. After numerous protest actions, the public prosecutor was forced to put the two policemen on duty on the fateful day to trial for culpability in the death of the African.

A court in Dessau delivered verdict on the case on 8 December 2008. After a 22-month trial, the judge discharged both the policemen and absolved them of culpability for the death of the then 21-year-old man. The acquittal has provoked a storm of protest, with many campaign groups linked to the case vowing to continue the struggle for justice for Oury Jalloh.

Following the acquittal of the two police officers accused of criminal negligence, leading organisations representing Africans and foreigners in Germany are calling for an independent enquiry into how a shackled Sierra Leonean asylum-seeker, Oury Jalloh, was burnt to death in a police cell in January 2005.
The state court had ruled that it could not be proved that the two police officers on duty bore any blame for his death. Dessau district judge Manfred Steinhoff said he had rejected the charges because police witnesses had lied to the court preventing him from unravelling the truth of how Oury Jallow, then 21, died on 7 January 2005. The work of the investigators had been “slovenly” and “inconsistent”, he added. “Now go home and think what you want,” he said in conclusion after reconvening the court following an adjournment because of loud protest over the acquittals. The judge has yet to issue a written explanation for his judgement in the case, which began on 27 March 2007.

One of the accused police officers was charged with ignoring a fire alarm when the fire first broke out in Oury Jalloh’s cell. When the officer finally did investigate the fire and smoke alarms, bellowing smoke from the basement cell fire prevented him from saving Jalloh.
The second officer was accused of failing to remove a cigarette lighter when he searched Oury Jalloh before putting him into the cell in Dessau, a city in eastern Germany, where there is widespread anti-foreigner sentiment. The lighter was allegedly used by Oury Jalloh to ignite a foam-filled mattress with a fireproof covering, although his feet and hands were attached by handcuffs and clasps to the wall and bed frame.

A cell cleaner told the court that the fireproof cover of the mattress was not damaged when she cleaned the cell before Oury Jalloh was brought in and chained down.

Oury Jalloh had been taken into custody after leaving a discotheque early in the morning of 7 January 2005. A city street-cleaner had reported him to the police for molestation after he had approached her to make a call on her mobile telephone. He was apparently heavily intoxicated, a fact confirmed by a blood test taken at the time.
Lawyer Regina Goetz , representing Jalloh’s mother, accused the police of a cover-up “with so many concealments and blunders that the truth can never be discovered.”
“We want an independent commission to investigate how Oury Jalloh died,” said Osaren Igbinoba of The Voice African Forum, a coalition of organisations representing African refugees and Africans in Germany. “We will be inviting people from other continents to join this. We’ve been shown in this case that they do not want to investigate how Oury Jalloh died.”
Igbinoba said that the pubic prosecutor had deliberately framed the charges to support the police contention that Oury Jallow had set himself on fire. The assumption was groundless. “It took us two years to get this court hearing in Dessau. We will continue our protest until we get an independent commission to investigate the case.”

Yufani Mbolo, a member of the Oury Jallow Initiative, a group founded to press for justice in the case, elaborated: “The prosecution charges were based on the least likely assumption that Oury Jalloh had killed himself. Everyone knows this is a falsehood. He could not have got into the cell with a lighter on him. It would also have been very difficult to use a lighter when his hands and feet were tied. This would have been even less likely because he was drunk.”
Many observers of the case have openly expressed the suspicion that Oury Jalloh might have been beaten to death at the station and that the police had set his corpse on fire to cover up their crime. That suspicion might have been provoked by an autopsy which revealed that Oury Jalloh’s nose was broken and one of his eardrums burst. Signs, many say, that he must have been badly beaten by the police.

Ulrich von Kliggräff, a lawyer who represented Oury Jalloh’s father, said he supported the call for an independent enquiry. “I understand this and I think it is right. The two accused should have been found guilty. Much of what we heard in court sounded absolutely untrue and questionable. Many of the police witnesses lied.”

*****
Interview with Mouctar Bah

THE OURY JALLOH STORY

“Our goal is for the truth to be revealed”
- Mouctar Bah

With the acquittal of the two police officers accused of negligence
contributing to the death of Oury Jalloh, a member of the German African community tells why he is continuing the fight for truth and justice.
The Dessau police constructed a wall concealing the truth of what really happened on the morning of 7 January 2005, says Mouctar Bah, the head of the Oury Jalloh Initiative, a group founded by activists to ensure justice was done in the case.

Mouctar Bah, who has led the Oury Jalloh campaign since 2005, says he has been criminalized, frustrated and persecuted by the authorities in Dessau until he finally left the town and moved to Berlin. On 7 February 2008, the local authorities closed Bah’s Telecafé and accused him of harbouring people who sell drugs in his business premises.

In an exclusive interview with The African Courier, Bah talks about Oury Jalloh, whom he knew personally, what he thinks of the trial and court verdict, and why he’ll continue his fight for justice.

TAC: You knew Oury Jalloh before his tragic death. Could you ever have imagined the young man deliberately setting himself ablaze?

Mouctar Bah: Such a person would never have committed suicide. I knew him from my work caring for the refugees in Dessau. We met from time to time, not regularly, but over a period of one and a half years. He came to Dessau from Rosslau where he was living in an asylum home. He was not depressive or ill. He was a 21-year-old friendly and intelligent young man. He could speak German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. He was politically engaged about the situation in Africa. He wanted to build a future for himself. During the weekends, he went out and enjoyed himself. Why should such a person ever want to end his own life in such a manner?

You followed the Dessau trial and attended some of the first hearings before boycotting them in protest. What questions are left unanswered by the trial?
There are just so many. The truth never came out in the Dessau court. The court never investigated what really happened. First, how could Oury Jalloh have had a cigarette lighter on him with which, they say, he started the fire? This was never explained in court. A police officer said he checked Jalloh thoroughly before putting him in the cell. He searched him from top to bottom, checked his trousers, everything. He only found a handkerchief, a mobile telephone and a box of matches. Nothing else. And these items were then taken away from Jalloh. It has never been explained how a cigarette lighter found its way into the cell. That’s the most important unanswered question. Why did the police lie about this?

Why did they put Oury Jalloh in the cell and chain him down?
The police say that they put him in the cell because he was so aggressive. He was arrested after leaving a discotheque at 7:30 am. He had been there since 2 am. On the street, he asked two women working for the city cleaning department whether he could use their mobile phone to call a friend. They reported him to the police on charges of molestation. He was drunk. At the police station, after they searched him, he was put on a mattress and his hands and feet were shackled down.

Where was the cigarette lighter said to be at this time?
In Jalloh’s trousers’ pocket. That’s the police version. They made a video showing that he could have still reached into his pocket and taken out the lighter and set himself ablaze. But that’s impossible. One hand (the right one) was handcuffed to the wall. The other hand was also handcuffed (to the side of the bed). How, then, could Jalloh reach into his trousers’ pocket to take out the lighter? The handcuff with its chain was too short to allow such an action.

Could the lawyers for the family Jolloh prove this in court?
The right handcuff used to bind him has disappeared. The police threw it away after the fire.

So a crucially important piece of evidence – the right handcuff and the chain - has gone missing. What was it that caused such an intense fire?
MB: It was the foam inside the mattress. That was really inflammable. The entire mattress went up in flames. But the mattress had a fireproof leather cover. How was it possible for a man to strip this away when his hands and feet were bound? They have never explained this. Even in the international delegation that we had, a South African lawyer said he had never heard of a man with bound hands and feet setting himself alight in a police cell on a fireproof mattress.

Did the authorities demonstrate how the foam might have burned?
Yes. They showed how it would burn in seven minutes. This was the time they alleged had passed from the moment the fire broke out to the moment when Oury Jalloh actually died. I have here the pictures that they took of this reconstruction of the fire. You can see here in one picture taken on 22 June last year that within seven minutes, the time between the first fire alarm and moment when the officer opened the door of the cell, only one hand and one arm of the dummy that they used burned. The fire reached only this limited corner. The remainder of the dummy’s body is untouched by fire. But on the day Oury Jalloh died, his entire body was covered in burns. The entire mattress was engulfed in flames. Why doesn’t anyone talk about this?

You have spoken of a disappearing handcuff. Did any other crucially important evidence go missing?
Yes. After the fire, investigators filmed the scene of the fire. They had been told that a Black asylum-seeker had set himself ablaze in the cell. The judge in Desssau asked for this video material to be produced. He was told that the videotape was blank, except for a coverage of four minutes. One hour of video material has simply vanished!

In spite of all your grave criticisms of the Dessau court, is there something that was revealed in court that was particularly important?
There was a second, independent autopsy. X-rays were taken of Oury Jalloh’s corpse by a forensic professor in Frankfurt. They showed that Oury Jalloh had a broken nose and a damaged ear. This was not revealed in the original police autopsy.

What can you do now?
People don’t want to believe that what took place could actually happen in Germany. The police constructed a wall around their claim that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire. Our goal is for the truth to be revealed and for justice. We are calling for an independent commission to look into, and investigate, all aspects of the case again. We are calling on the African community in Germany and all members of the African diplomatic community to make this a reality.

*****

Oury Jalloh – A Case Trail

“Judge never entertained the possibility that Oury Jalloh might not have set himself on fire”

A chronology of arrest, death, court process and police acquittal

Friday, 7 January 2005
2am: Oury Jalloh visits a discotheque in Dessau.
7am: Leaves, apparently alone. He had been drinking heavily, later confirmed by a police doctor’s blood test.
7:30am: Out on the street, he approaches two women cleaning. Reportedly asks to borrow a mobile telephone to call a friend. According to the public prosecutor, the women “felt he was bothering them, more of less”. They call the police, there is “an argument and light bodily contact”, Jalloh is taken into custody because he could not be identified. In the police van he resists “hands and feet” fixing.
8am: Police say to protect Jalloh “from injuring himself” he is searched and put in a basement cell, his hands and feet chained down to the wall and bed.
8:00-11:45am: Regular police controls of his cell. Oury Jalloh is “the entire time agitated”, say police.
11:45am: Oury Jalloh last seen alive, say police.
11:45-12:00: Sound-monitoring system to a control room is turned down because of rattling sound from Jalloh’s cell.
12:05 approx.: Fire alarm from Jalloh’s cell sounds in control room. Police officer turns alarm off. Second alarm goes off. Officer turns alarm off again. A smoke alarm goes off. Officer leaves control room to investigate Jalloh’s basement cell.
12:15: Officer and colleague reach Jalloh’s cell. Smoke is coming from under the door. The fire service is called.
12:35: Fire service extinguishes fire, discovering the charcoaled body of Oury Jalloh.

7 January-May 2005
African refugee organisations, led by The VOICE, allege Dessau police are responsible for the death of Oury Jalloh; campaign for “truth and justice”. Their campaign is a “symbol for the fight against the persecution of refugees and migrants in Germany”.

28 May 2005
State public prosecutor brings negligence charges against two Dessau police officers – allegedly for ignoring a fire warning and failing to confiscate a cigarette lighter when Oury Jalloh was arrested.

27 October 2005
The Dessau District Court refuses to take up the case, ordering further investigations.
The VOICE and supporters continue struggle for trial.

2 January 2007
The Dessau Court finally agrees to hear charges against the same two police officers for criminal injury resulting in death. Later charges modified to contributing to death by negligence.

27 March 2007
Trial opens in Dessau against the officers, one for not reacting to the first fire alarm, the other for failing to find a cigarette lighter when he searched Oury Jalloh. Judge Manfred Steinhoff says the trial could take four days. Trial continues for 59 sessions, finally ending with the acquittal of the two police officers on 8 December 2009, 22 months later.

What the trial did reveal – The Critics

The Charges
The Dessau police put forward the thesis that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire. This was adopted by the public prosecutor in framing his charges. It blocked any “investigation into how Oury Jalloh died,” say activists.

The Judge
Judge Manfred Steinhoff showed bias in favour of the police. He is remembered for his outburst in court that Germany was not a “banana republic”. He focussed his attention on the six and a half minute time frame after the fire allegedly broke out, showing he never entertained the possibility that Oury Jalloh might not have set himself on fire.

The Evidence
It was shown to have been collected in unsystematic, haphazard way and put in bags after the fire. An officer claimed he saw a largely-intact lighter under the burned body of Oury Jalloh. But the lighter was not listed in the original inventory of evidence on the day of the fire. One fire-damaged lighter was delivered up in a bag two days later. A fire expert at the trial said the two items could not be the same. Several items of evidence disappeared, handcuffs, a video and a book of notes. The caretaker was said to have sawn a handcuff off after the fire and thrown it away. This might have shown whether Oury Jalloh could have reached into his pocket for a lighter.

Witnesses
Many witnesses were not immediately questioned after the fire – including some in the police station at the time of the fire. Some were only questioned a year into the trial. Many gave conflicting evidence.

Autopsy
A second, independent autopsy conducted at the request of the lawyers representing the Oury Jalloh’s family at the trial reveal that Oury Jalloh had a broken nose and damaged middle ear. This was not revealed in the first autopsy.

What next?
“The whole Dessau police station should be put on trial. A police cell is the most secure place in Germany. In Dessau there were more 40 police officers on duty at the time of Oury Jalloh’s death,“ Yufanyi Mbolo, The VOICE.

The article is first published by African Courier Magazine in Germany,
February 2009

Examining the highly suspicious death in custody of Oury Jalloh - London Statewatch journal report

Video of 4th memory day of Oury Jalloh's murder in Police cell No. 5 in Desau, 07.01.09
Fotos: In Memory of Oury Jalloh, Dessau 7.1.09
Call for Demonstration: Video Tribute - Oury Jalloh
Fotos/videos: Gedenken an Oury Jalloh, Dessau 7.1.09

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