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Oury Jalloh Campaign Revisited - Break the Silence Archives 2005 - 2009 (English and German)

Table of Contents
- Oury Jallow: BURNED ALIVE IN HIS JAIL CELL…………………………………………….
- Platform's Speech at the Funeral for Oury Jalloh, 26.03.05 in Dessau…………………………
- NPD on Trial in Oury Jalloh’s Case……………………………………………
- Different Initiatives Denounce Daily State-Based Racism and the Targeted Harassment Against Mouctar Bah in Dessau............
- First Died Oury Jalloh - Now Mouctar Bah's Telecafé Is To Be Closed....................
- Breaking News: Oury Jalloh Case in Progress ........
Demonstrations in Dessau and Berlin - court hearing in March......................
- Black-African Appeal for Participation in Oury Jalloh Memorial in Dessau..............
- Call for Court Observation.......
- Oury Jalloh's Court Process Begins on 27th of March 2007 in Dessau..................
- Oury Jalloh - Family Campaign in Dessau............
- First preliminary report by Silas Nkanunu, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.....................
- Silas - Observer Mission Report on the first days of the Dessau Process...........................
- Regina Kiwanuka, Ugandan Human Rights Activist, Observations and Comments on the Trial.........
- First Preliminary Report of Rolf Gössner on Organized Irresponsability.....................
- Elliot Perkins Report on the Oury Jalloh Trial, Member of the International Observer Delegation..........
- Mumia Abu Jamal: "Death in Cell #5..............
- Statement of Solidarity to the Family and Friends of Oury Jalloh from MIGRANTE Europe in Amsterdam......
Demonstration in Dessau In Memory of Oury Jalloh and Dominique Koumadio ..........................
- Regina Kiwanuka Report On Dessau Demonstration..............
- Justice for Mouctar Bah – Fax Campaign against the city of Dessau-Roßlau......................
- One, Two or No Lighter at All? Devious Constructions - Made in Germany.......................
- 4th Year Anniversary............
- Die Polizei ist zu Dessau Schuldig (NEED TRANSLATION)......
- Statement of African/Black Community (NEED TANSLATION).....................
- PRO ASYL: Der TOd von OUry Jalloh Bleibt Ungesühnt (NEED TRANSLATION)................

Neither forgive nor forget! NEVER AGAIN!
Who knew Oury Jallow or Laye Kondé? Who knows something about their lives, the families they left behind, their feelings and their fears? Who knows how they died and why?
On the 7th of January, two Africans died at the hands of the german police. In germany, the 7th of January was just another day. Normal. Simply another day which for many people belongs to the past and—like the past—is forgotten. Nothing more and nothing less than another Friday in the first month of a new year.
Other people don’t have such short memories and they also don’t forget. What’s more, there are some people for whom the 7th of January represents and will continue to represent another day in the infamous colonial history of this country and of this continent; people who can only understand the death of two Africans to represent a continuation of the past and the present. One single nightmare.
The facts:
Oury Jallow and Laye Kondé, both from Sierra Leone, died because they and their like are not welcomed in this country. They died because they found themselves in a country that continues to say “Ausländer Raus!” (Foreigners Out!) they died because both the german state and the society do everything in their means to isolate, exclude, destroy and expulse Oury, Laye and many, many others like them.
Oury died tied to a bed in his police cell in the city of Dessau, burned alive in what the authorities claim to have been a “suicide”. Laye, on the other hand, died far away from there, in the city of Bremen, his lungs filled with a liquid forced into his body by the police who were attempting to make him vomit out the drugs he was supposedly hiding.
Do you wish to have more information? Should we be more objective? How’s this: According to the newspaper Die Zeit from the 9th of March, “[only January of this year] a right-wing extremist crime is committed each hour. Officially, 745 crimes and 39 acts of violence of the extreme right were committed in all of Germany [...] According to last year’s statistics, there were a total of 7.943 crimes and 489 acts of violence of the extreme right.”
Do you think Oury and Laye were included in their statistics?
More objectivity? Here is an article published by the newspaper TAZ, which wrote: “according to a study of the conflict and violence researcher Wilhelm Heitmeyer, the large, silent majority is amazingly large. 60 percent of all germans believe that too many foreigners live in this country. 69 percent are bothered by the fact that they are still being associated with the crimes against the Jewish people. Of these 69 percent, half of them consider themselves to be part of the political center.”
Confirmed in terms that all of us can understand, there is no doubt has such a horrendous crime can be committed in silence, whereas the authorities clearly are doing everything they can to cover up a crime that has for a long time been a daily horror for many people of non-European heritage.
But what we tell you now is nothing new. It is not new for you and it is not new for us. And you, just like us, know it very well. Isn’t this what they call “normal?” Is this not the mundane, everyday situation, even if not for you personally? But then again, you don’t see it as your problem; it happened to somebody else. When you read this—if you read this—you will probably feel uncomfortable and maybe even upset. This is also a normal reaction. You, just like us, are used to your indifference.
Now, in Dessau, the attorney general is rejecting the possibility of a second, independent autopsy, which could confirm such unanswered questions like: were his wrists really broken or not? Now, although they appear to have “changed their minds”, the authorities are creating difficulties for a public religious ceremony to commemorate the life—and death—of just another African whom to many was a brother and a friend.
The friends of Oury have said they will carry out the procession with or without the permission of the authorities and that they will continue to denounce what is really happening in the city of Dessau. Since maintaining such a strong position often times means that those who refuse to bow their heads are left alone, it is even more important that we share in their fraternal support to ensure that Oury receives a dignified treatment in this country. At least once.
One last word. It doesn’t cost you neither too much time nor money to support the friends of Oury in making sure he at least finds that in death which this country has denied to him in life: respect. It is just one single day of your normal life. Come to Dessau!
We demand:
A second and independent autopsy
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 03-21-2005
The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh (Dessau) condemns the attempts of the State Attorney of Dessau to block further investigations of the body of Oury Jalloh—necessary in order to resolve unanswered questions—before his body is sent back to Guinea-Conakry. Oury Jalloh died on the 7th of January under still unclear circumstances. Together with other migrant and anti-racist initiatives we demand an x-ray to be carried out on the corpse in order to determine the true causes of his death as well as an immediate stop to attempts to repatriate his corpse before a final forensic report is emitted and can be medically confirmed. Furthermore, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh denounces that city officials have denied the possibility of carrying out the funeral proceedings in the city center.
The death of Oury Jalloh should have provoked a wave of condemnation. The death of Oury Jalloh should be a shame for a country which is this year celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of Nazi horror. But this is not the case. On the contrary: German officials, the society and the press are silent. Even five years after Antonio Adriano from Mozambique was murdered by three Nazis on the streets of Dessau.
The facts:
Nobody doubts that Oury Jalloh, who died on the 7th of January in a police station in Dessau, tied by his hand and feet to a bed and burned alive, occurred under what are still unclear circumstances. Likewise, as anybody who has any knowledge about this case knows, there are still many, many unanswered questions. Nevertheless, everything is being done in order to hide the truth about what really happened on the morning of the 7th of January. Thus, for example, the State Attorney has refused Regina Götz, the attorney contracted by Oury's mother to represent her, requests to carry out a post mortem x-ray in order to determine the exact cause of death. This in spite of the fact that official police reported that Oury Jalloh violently resisted his detention, that force was used to subdue him, or the fact that early pressed reports stated that both Jalloh's wrists were broken.
According to the lawyer, still unclear is also the issue of how a lighter could have made its way into the cell when the responsible police officers claimed in their first interrogation that it would have been impossible to overlook when his body and belongings were searched. Furthermore, on the 10th of January, in the first official inventory taken of items found in the cell at the time of the death of Oury Jalloh, no lighter was registered. One day later, on the 11th of January, the lighter appears in the reports. Other open questions are: why was Oury Jalloh tied by his hand an feet to his bed for several hours? How can a fire-proof mattress be set on fire by a person who is tied to it? And how can it be that three police officers cannot hear the screams of a person burning to death—if this is to be believed—and not have noticed any fire in spite of the fire alarms and in spite of the intercom system of the police station.
Not just the State Attorney is in a hurry to close the case. The authorities also present a united wall of silence when the subject turns to what really happened on the 7th of January. Even the public funeral procession which is being organized by Oury Jalloh's friends—the only people who have done anything at all in support of the truth and the family of Oury Jalloh—has been prohibited by the authorities due to "political reasons," so that the funeral will now take place outside of Dessau. In all of this, the only thing clear appears to be the interest of the authorities to do everything possible to send Oury back as soon as possible to where he came from so that he and the truth can be buried, far from the place where he died.
Why did Oury Jalloh die? Why were there so few reports in the press, many of which contradicted each other? How can there be such silence from all parts? Perhaps because the victim was just another black, another African, another asylum seeker who died or was even murdered? Is this once again "normal" in Germany? Who would have thought that just fourteen years following the racist attack in Hoyerswerda and 60 years following Auschwitz that such a horrendous crime would be met by a wall of silence?
According to Attorney General Folker Bittmann: “[there] is no longer any criminal suspicion against the police officer who searched Oury Jalloh's upper body.” Perhaps this is the reason why the State Attorney denies the possibility of further examinations of the corpse before it is sent back to Africa. Likewise, local politicians must surely have good reasons to ban the funeral procession from the city center.
The press has the word.
We demand:
Repatriation stop until there is an independent post-mortem forensic x-ray
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

Platform's Speech at the Funeral for Oury Jalloh, 26.03.05 in Dessau
It is difficult to find words to describe what happened on that day on the 7th of January. For many of us who come from countries in the so-called Third World, it is clear that the death of Oury Jalloh could have been the death of any one of us. With so much racist police controls, abuse and even violence, it may have even been a matter of being the wrong person at the wrong time at the wrong place.
For us and for all of you there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh. There are too many contradictions, too many inconsistencies and even too many attempts to cover up the truth that even the German Association of Criminal Police said about the investigations of the case: “an image has been given of unconcerned and incapable police.” If this is what their own say, what are we to think?
So now Oury, a refugee in this country, is dead. Born a refugee and died a refugee. A refugee his whole life. He has taken with him to his grave the status given to him in this country for someone seeking protection from persecution: Duldung.
But Oury was not alone. He was one of the many refugees who have died because they were forced to flee in search of a better life. Of something to eat and maybe even—Oury Jalloh was only 21 years-old—the possibility to study. For some reason we fail to understand, this is considered by many European governments and their citizens to be a crime. And thus, refugees seeking protection are treated as mere criminals, and like people criminalized by society, their rights and dignity are taken away from them. Refugees are people for whom opportunity and respect remain foreign words lacking any kind of real meaning in their lives. Especially here. Especially in Germany, where we are isolated and excluded from society.
And now spring has returned to Europe. The winds begin to change, the weather warms up, and the waters of the Mediterranean Ocean begin to calm. Much more than new possibilities for the European tourist, this means that more and more bodies will wash upon the shores of Fortress Europe, symbols of a dream that died in journey. There are ten of thousands of them, some dead and some who manage to live another day. They risk their lives to come here—and for what?
What is the price that must be paid to reach the shores of Fortress Europe? What price did Oury Jalloh pay to come here, surviving the journey only to be burned alive in “paradise?” And his family? What kind of images ran through their minds? That there son finally made it to Europe? That Oury, their son, would finally have an opportunity to be something more than a refugee in his life? That he would receive education and employment? That he finally had reached the place of civilization, progress and opportunity?
Do you think Oury told his family about the conditions he was forced to live in as a refugee? Did he tell them about Duldung and Heims, Residenzpflicht and Abschiebung?
Did he tell them that he was often times controlled and abused by the police because he was a black man? That he was denied the possibility to work or study, to move freely or even learn the German language? Did he tell them that the only official opportunity left open to him was to sit in his Heim—eat and sleep, eat and sleep—until his deportation notification came and his “Duldung” ended? Did he tell them that it was deportation or to—once again!—flee in
search of survival?
But now it is too late. Oury Jalloh did not survive. He died in a jail cell in a town called Dessau. Oury died—burned alive—his hands and feet tied to his jail bed. And we are here to remember him. We are here to pay him and other like him the honor and respect they deserve but were eternally denied: respect and dignity. We are here to share our sorrow and pain with those who have died on the shores and within the walls of the European Fortress.
We have also come today with a word for all of you present here today. We have come to tell you that this situation cannot continue and that we will no longer remain silent in the face of such systematic and widespread inhumanity. And so we make a call to the German society and to the German government: Stop this violence! The exclusion, criminalization and racist controls must stop! Stop treating people like criminals because the color of their skin or the color of their passports! Stop this injustice!
To our fellow refugees and migrants we say to you today that the only way to truly honor Oury Jalloh is to make sure that we do everything in our power to see that something like this never happen again. We must support one another to overcome our fear and to break our isolation. In order to truly pay our respects to Oury Jalloh we must see to it that his unjust death be turned into something positive: our coming together to say

A final word. In his poem “How long?” Palestinian poet Muhammad Aziz al-Hababi wrote, “When will we enjoy the seeds of our land and the sweetness of our sky? When will the sun find a place in our hearts? Will a day finally come? The day. Just like for everyone else? Everyone seeks peace. We prefer to be in struggle against the death that blinds us [...]
Everyday. Relentlessly."
We too believe that this is a fight against the culture and logic of death, of war, of historic injustice. If we have it in our hearts, this is something we can share together.
Platform of refugees and migrants, Berlin

Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 03-29-2005
The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh makes know that—despite the lack of support from the State Attorney’s Office—a second autopsy will be carried out on the corpse of Oury Jalloh.
Declaration of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh:
An important step was taken last Saturday in informing the public about what happened on the 7th of January in the police station of Dessau. Nevertheless, the only hope of finding out the truth is by keeping up the pressure. It should be known that this is exactly what we are going to do.
We criticize the fact that hardly anybody from Dessau and very few Germans took part in the funeral or the demonstration. We ask ourselves if this is because Oury Jalloh was considered to be just another refugee to be deported.
In our opinion, the cover-up of this whole story is taking place on multiple levels and is being carred out by all authorities involved. Irregardless of what the results of a second autopsy may prove to be, it is clear that everything is being done to hinder a clarification of what truly happened.
Here are some of the unanswered questions regarding the case of Oury Jalloh:
Our deep suspicion regarding the possibility of a completely drunk person who is chained by his hands and feet can burn himself to death is already clear. Additionally, we ask:
What type of material was the mattress made out of?
• How does it burn, how quickly and, above all, how much material is needed to produce a fire of 365 degrees Celsius?
• Where exactly was the mattress damaged“ and what procedures do the police have when such mattresses are damaged?
• Where is the mattress and how much of the mattress is still intact?
Furthermore, we are curious to know, since we assume that a police station is well equipped with video surveillance:
• Where are the video cameras?
Where are the complete video tapes from the police station beginning• at the time of Oury Jalloh’s being brought into the cell, his body search and finally his being chained hand and foot to the prison bed?
Other questions are:
Where is the protocol from the fire department about their intervention and what does it say about Oury Jalloh and the conditions in the cell?
How are the acoustics in the police station (from where can you hear the screams of a man who is being burned alive?)?
At a later date we will make known other doubts we have about the case.
Finally, we would like to make inform that—despite the lack of support from the State Attorney’s Office—a second autopsy will be carried out on the corpse of Oury Jalloh. The costs will be temporarily paid for by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
We demand:
Repatriation stop until there is an independent post-mortem forensic x-ray
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
Establishment of an independent commission to investigate the case
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

Press Release / Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh
Ochersleben, Sachsen-Anhalt: NPD on Trial in Oury Jalloh’s Case
Berlin, den 14. Mai, 2006
On the 18th of May, 2006, court proceedings will be held in the town of Oschersleben, Sachsen-Anhalt. At 11am Mouctar Bah will formally accuse the Kreisverband Magdeburg of the NPD for 'defamatory statements' and 'incitement of the people' on the basis of a article published by the nazis in the internet dating from the 2nd of April, 2005. The letter, which has since been taken from the internet (see attachment), is an attack and defamation against Mouctar Bah, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, the Muslim community, Africans, and refugees and migrants in general. It is also a defense of the people responsible for the murder of Oury Jalloh in a police cell in Dessau on the 7th of January, 2005.
Over sixteen months after the murder of Oury Jalloh it is still not evident whether or not court proceedings will take place. The original accusation made by the State Attorney has been rejected by the court, who claims that further investigations are needed. Among other aspects, the court has asked the State Attorney's Office to investigate whether or not the responsible police officer would have had enough time to save the life of Oury Jalloh had he acted correctly. Additionally, the parents of Mr. Jalloh are still not recognized as such, meaning that there is still no response as to whether the family has a right to legal representation or not. The cover-up continues and everything is being done to avoid public court proceedings. Instead, it is Mouctar Bah who is being persecuted by the local authorities; and by the Nazis.
Mouctar Bah was a close friend of Oury Jalloh. From the time of his death to this very day Mouctar has been doing everything in his power to see that there be truth in justice in this case. As a result, Mr. Bah has been persecuted by the local authorities in Dessau who have seen the necessity to close his Telecafé which he has been operating for over two years now. On the 7th of February, 2006, the authorities revoked his commercial license and Mr. Bah was issued a prohibition to open any other store anywhere in Germany. The official justification?
“Public interest.” In this manner, the local authorities in Dessau have tried to physically remove Mr. Bah from Dessau, whose only connection to the city has been his store. Furthermore, the new owner, who took over the store on the 8th of February and has employed Mr. Bah to work for him, has now been threatened to have his Telecafé closed for having employed Mouctar Bah.
Now, in this bizarre and seemingly never-ending case, Mr. Bah is taking the Neo-Nazi party, NPD, to court for their letter. Numerous supporters of Mouctar Bah and activists of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh will be holding a protest rally outside the court. According to our information, the Nazis are also mobilizing their following. Additionally, a joint demand made by an activist of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh has been rejected by the court.
Another joint demand, made by a member of the Initiative Schwarzer Menschen in Deutschland (ISD) is still pending a response.
We call on the press to accompany the trial of Mouctar Bah against the NPD in Oschersleben on the 8th of May, 2006. Furthermore, we repeat our demands for a date for a public trial to be made known in the case of the murder of Oury Jalloh. Likewise, we demand an end to state and nazi violence against refugees and migrants.
Truth, Justice, Compensation!
Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh
For interviews or more information please contact: 0176-65 977 644

Can a person burn himself to death while tied at his hands and feet?
How is it possible that a person in a so-called security area of a jail cell burns alive and the causes as to his death remain unclear for over a year?
Why did the responsible police officer turn off the acoustic surveillance?

Why did Oury Jalloh supposedly have a lighter in his pocket, when according to the police officers who carried out the body search it would have been impossible not to have found a lighter? Why did the lighter first appear in the inventory of items found in the cell only days later?
Is it really possible that the death screams of a person engulfed in flames CANNOT be heard and the smoke emanating from the cell IS NOT noticeable? Especially in a police station, where absolute control is the norm?
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh was murdered in a police cell:
Over one year later and there are still no court proceedings!
Oury Jalloh, a 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone died on the 7th of January, 2005, in a police station in Dessau, tied with handcuffs to a fire-proof mattress at his hands and feet. Cause of death: heat shock.
The official version: The victim set fire to the mattress with a lighter, caused the mattress to burn thus burning himself. Suicide?
Over one year ago this version provoked a lot of doubts. Since then they have only increased and become more serious.
According to the investigators, the fire broke out in the cell around midday. The fire alarm went off on two occasions. Noises and cries of help coming from the acoustically controlled cell were registered but ignored.
Supposedly, the supervising police officer turned off the sound of the acoustic system shortly before twelve because he could not understand a telephone conversation. Only when the air-control alarm went off did he go down into the basement where the cell was located. Too late. Oury Jalloh was lying on a burning mattress, his body practically charcoaled. The remains of a lighter were only found in later “investigations.”
13 months following the death of Oury Jalloh there is still no clarity neither as to the circumstances of his death nor who is responsible for it. In spite of massive and publicly known irregularities and contradictions no legal proceedings seem likely. The responsible police and doctor continue their work. In spite of the fact that the State Prosecutor of Dessau has made formal accusations of negligent homicide and bodily harm with fatal consequences, new excuses are nevertheless found to close the case—to the point of absurdity. Now it is said that the formal complaints lodged by the lawyers in the name of the family are invalid due to the fact that there is not enough evidence to prove whether or not the family of Oury Jalloh is truly his family.
Although the press, on several occasions, reported on the racist background in relation to the unclear circumstances of the death of Oury Jalloh and a few initiatives have demanded a complete clarification of the contradictions, the court is until today blocking legal proceedings.
It is common to speak about the racism of nazis on the streets, yet as usual there is silence regarding the racism within state institutions.
Taken from the protocol of a conversation between one of the police officers and the medical doctor involved in the death of Oury Jalloh:
Police Officer: Can you prick a black African?
Doctor: Oh, Shit. I never find any veins by those dark-skinned people.
Police Office: [laughing] Well, just bring along a special needle!
From a second protocol between two police officers:
Police Officer 1: Did he hang himself or what?
Police Officer 2: No, it’s burning down there.
Police Officer 1: How’s that?
Police Officer 2: I have no idea. They went down and it was full of black smoke.
Police Officer 1: Yeah, I almost said good. O.K. Have a good weekend.
Ciao, ciao.
Now, Mouctar Bah, the person who has most engaged himself for truth and justice in the case of the murder of Oury Jalloh, is being criminalized and persecuted. On the 7th of February, the local authorities closed Mouctar’s Telecafé—out of “public interest.” The accusation: Mouctar allows people who sell drugs into his store. The Telecafé was the basis of Mouctar’s financial existence and the meeting place for the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
We are of the opinion that hidden behind these measures are state attempts to create fear and punish those who fight for the truth and call this what it was—murder.
Throughout Europe, the reality of refugees and migrants is becoming more and more dramatic each day. Increased persecution and criminalization characterized the daily experience of non-Europeans in the form of more violence, more police controls, more deportations. In this way, the already existing hate and exclusion of the host countries is strengthened.
There is a serious need to create sufficient pressure NOW so that there will at least be a hearing.
The grass cannot hide all the truths

Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jallow, Berlin/Dessau 06-14-2005
Different Initiatives Denounce Daily State-Based Racism and the Targeted Harassment Against Mouctar Bah in Dessau
Oury Jallow was burned to death six months ago in a Police jail cell in Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt. For all of us who have experienced first hand this normality, these laws and these victimizers, the death of Oury Jallow and the subsequent developments make clear what really happened behind the police walls—and behind the walls of those whose silence is both customary and invariable.
Directly following the death of Oury Jallow, the police spoke of a suicide. Only following public protest did the State Prosecutor begin to respond to the existing contradictions: How can a man burn himself to death while being tied by hands and feet? How can he have a lighter when a thorough body search is always carried out? How can he put himself on fire when, according to the manufacturer, the mattress is extremely difficult to put on fire? Or when the mattress was not previously damaged? And why should he have done it? Why does the police officer turn down the acoustic control in the cell although it was not even damaged? How is it possible not to hear the death cries of a human being while being agonizingly swallowed in flames, flames which produced so much smoke that neither the police nor the fire department were even able to enter into the cell? Why did the lighter not appear in the first inventory list of things found in the cell but did appear in another list produced one day later?
Long before the investigations of the case were closed, the leading State Prosecutor said that, “there are no indications of malicious intentions of a third party.” A re-enactment produced by his own office is enough evidence to prove that it is possible to manoeuvre oneself enough so as to fish a lighter out of the pocket of a trouser. In spite of the fact that there were and are numerous unanswered questions, the State Prosecutor refused to authorize a second autopsy or even an x-ray, not even after having received the request from the family’s lawyer. As a result, family supporters were forced to organize and pay for an independent autopsy, which first established that Oury Jallow’s nose was broken as were his ethmoid bone and eardrums. Oddly, the State Prosecutor is crying that the results were not presented to them, though it was never hidden from them nor did they show any kind of interest in the results.
Now, following a six-month continuous struggle—including the strong demonstration in Dessau on the 26th of March in which the rage against everyday police violence and police brutality found an outlet—encouraged by the collective will and determination to find both the truth and those responsible for this horrible crime, two police officers have been indicted, one for bodily harm with fatal consequences and the other for involuntary manslaughter. All other legal possibilities have been excluded from the indictment.
For many of us, it is just as plausible that Oury Jallow was seriously beaten by the police—which unfortunately occurs frequently enough—later to be burned: be it to kill him or be it to hide his death. The simple allegation of the police officer, who asserted that the fire alarm had been turned off because of previous malfunctioning, is enough to demonstrate the unmistakable contempt and so-called “supremacy” in the handling of “Black Africans.” Nevertheless, in spite of having access to all information, already in February the State Prosecutor was quick to declare, “Our police is doing a good job.” It is only now—as part of the protocols from the telephone conversations, which demonstrate the clearly racist positions of the doctor and the police officer, were published in the press—that “conditions could be drawn from the personal attitudes of those involved,” and this even after the fact that the very existence of these protocols had been denied.
The obvious collaboration between the state institutions in this cover-up clearly refute the implausible denial of the authorities that the death of Oury Jallow had anything to do with racism. It is very common to speak about the racism originating from the street nazi than the daily racism of the state institutions: From 1990 to 2004, eleven foreigners died due to police measures. In the same time period, twelve were killed through racist attacks on the street, which received much more attention from the press than those relating to the state.
Now, once again, we are confronted with the situation that the fight for truth and justice in this horrendous affair is being obstructed in order to leave the official institutions untouched: One week ago, the Federal State Administrative Office of Sachsen-Anhalt sent a letter to Mouctar Bah—the one person who has been most engaged in seeing that justice is done in the case of Oury Jallow—making clear their intentions to close the Call- and Afro-Shop owned by Mr. Bah. Thus, his financial existence is being put at risk.
Although a similar attempt to close his store one year ago was rejected by the local court, on Thursday, the 6th of June, agents of the Office for Public Compliance searched his store. The only official explanation Mr. Bah has received is that it is “predominantly in the public interest” to close his store. Furthermore, his lawyer has been refused permission to examine the access records. All of this demonstrates that this is just another “measure” carried out in official silence in order to continue to hide the truth about the death of Oury Jallow and to break all resistance directed at uncovering the truth behind the veil of lies.
As part of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jallow, this press release has been authorized and published by the Anti-Racist Initiative Berlin (ARI), Plataforma of Refugees and Migrants and The Voice-Refugee Forum.

Press release: Intiative in memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 30 January-2006
First Died Oury Jalloh - Now Mouctar Bah's Telecafé Is To Be Closed.
Berlin, 30 January 2006
Oury Jalloh, died in a police station in Dessau—tied at his hands and feet. Since his death on the 7th of January, 2005, our demands of truth,justice, and compensation have cynically been met with cover-up, injustice, and impunity. As if that wasn’t enough, now one of the few people who have been engaged in the struggle for the truth about Oury Jalloh’s death, Mouctar Bah, a friend of Oury and the representative of his family in Germany, is being criminalized. Those who were involved in Oury Jalloh’s death are not.
On the 7th of February, Mouctar Bah’s Telecafé in Dessau is to be closed and his commercial license revoked.
The Telecafé seems to have been a constant bother for some people in Dessau. It is a place where Africans living in and around Dessau can meet amongst themselves and speak with their families back home; where they can feel a bit safer than on the streets of Dessau.
Already in 2004 the authorities began attempts to close his store with the justification that food products were being sold illegally. Nevertheless, this accusation proved to be false: Mouctar Bah had a license to sell comestibles. Likewise, a search of his store also found no incriminating evidence which could be used against him. For a year the Administrative Office in Halle had the case before them yet undertook no action. As an official employee of the Administrative Office explained, there was no reason to close his store. But then Oury Jalloh died and Mouctar Bah did that which is to be expected from everybody in a country which claims “Never Again!” Mouctar Bah fought to see that the truth be brought out and justice be done regarding Oury’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. Now he is being forced to pay the price: Mouctar Bah is being punished.
Officially it is said that Mouctar Bah tolerates people who sell drugs in the neighboring park to come around his store. There is no word of drugs being bought or sold in his store, nor does any concrete evidence exist.
Apparently, the racist attribution “black skin = drug dealers” is enough.
As a result, Mouctar Bah’s commercial license is to be revoked—out of “public interest.” He has gone through several legal proceedings in order to save his store, all to no avail. Recently, the High Administrative Court of Magdeburg has rejected his appeal. Now, one year after the death of Oury Jalloh, Mouctar Bah has received a letter from the Office of Public Safety (sic) telling him that his Telecafé must be closed by the 7th of February or it will be closed for him. Consequentially, the means of existence are being taken away from him and his family.
The obvious collaboration between the different state institutions serves to deny any connection whatsoever between racism, the murder of Oury Jalloh, and the closing of Mouctar Bah’s Call Shop. Yet both the impunity in the case of the murder of Oury Jalloh and the closure of Mouctar Bah’s store in Dessau in such a bureaucratic and silent manner—consistent with the times we are living in—clearly demonstrate such cooperation between the different state institutions and their attempts to cover-up the truth as to the death of Oury Jalloh and to break any resistance against such inhuman and undemocratic measures.
We uphold our demands:
Truth, Justice, Compensation!!!
Furthermore, we demand that judicial proceedings which are open to the public begin without delay so that the truth behind the tragic events of the 7th of January be made known to the public. Additionally, we demand an end to the attempts at closing Mouctar Bah’s Call Shop and having his commercial license taken away from him.
This press release has been a joint publication of: the Refugee Initiative Dessau, the Anti-Racist Initiative Berlin (ARI), the Plataforma of Refugees and Migrants, and THE VOICE Refugee Forum as part of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.

Submitted by voice on Tue, 28/11/2006 - 21:56.
Information in English, Deutsch and French
Demonstration on 09 December 06
Meeting point: Nordmarkt Dortmund, 13:00
On 14 April 2006, Dominique Kouamadio, a 23 year-old Congolese, was shot dead by a policeman in Dortmund. The owner of a kiosk had called the police because Dominique was standing in front of his kiosk window with a knife. At the time three police officers arrived by car, the situation was according to their own statements not threatening. Until today, it has not been clarified why the situation escalated: a policeman killed Dominique by two shots, fired directly after each other into his leg and into his heart. The public prosecutor's office in Dortmund opened an investigation against the police officer who fired the mortal shots, but dismissed the case because of supposed self-defence. Self-defence? Despite the fact that all eye witnesses give evidence of a distance of several meters between Dominique and the policeman who shot him! more
Dominique's sister engaged the services of a lawyers? office to file an appeal against the dismissal of the case with the public prosecutor's office and together they demanded the bringing of an immediate charge of 'intentional homicide' in a press conference on 10 October 2006. Meanwhile the public prosecutor's office in Dortmund rejected the appeal and passed it on to the senior public prosecutor's office in Hamm.
We demand the clarification of Dominique's death, as the officer who shot and killed Dominique mustn't go unpunished. Killings by the police mustn't be allowed to become normality. We also remind of Oury Jalloh who burnt to death in a police cell on 07/01/2005 and of many other victims of racist state violence. We don?t accept racism, exclusion, and inequality!
Complete clarification!

Appeal for Participation in Oury Jalloh Memorial in Dessau
In memory of Oury Jalloh and on the occasion of the 2nd year commemoration of his being killed and burned in the cell of the Dessau police station, on 07 janury, 2005, we, the activists in the Africa-Conference-Forum, proposed to organise a conference and demo with protest actions that will lead to important gatherings of African and Black Community activists in Germany against racist police brutality and criminalisation.
During the African - Black Community Conference events in Dessau on the 6th and 7th January 2007 there will be discussions and reports about the struggles of the Africans in Dessau for the victims in Germany by activists, representatives and delegates of the African and Black Communities in Germany under the topic:
Stop Racist Police Killings and Criminalisation of Our Existence in Germany!
We want to coordinate with activists in the various regional structures and with solidarity activities in the black communities from Hamburg, Goettingen, Halle, Jena, Berlin, München and Brandenburg who participated in the first Berlin preparatory meeting for the planned actions in September 2006. Then, all activists from the African-Black Community Forum meeting agreed in principles to participate in the events in Dessau. We discussed about the chances and the possibilities to broaden the spectrum and perspectives of our protest actions against police brutality and the criminalisation of the Africans in the community and to compile the events and lists of the African victims with related topics on the issues of racist police brutality and criminalisations in Germany.
For the events in January, we will stress on the need for active participation and support from the African-Black Community activists, including the families, relations, friends and advocates of the victims of police brutality and killings in Germany - such as Dominique K. in Dortmund, Oury Jalloh in Dessau, Laye-Alama Condé in Bremen, John Achidi in Hamburg, N'deye Mareame Sarr in Aschaffenburg, Amir Ageeb in München, Kola Bankole in Frankfurt and others - to co-ordinate together the activities for Dessau.
Groups and activists interested to organise the preparatory events BEFORE January 2007 in their groups or in other towns should discuss and confirm their participation for the coordinatation by e-mail at: "Africa Conference Forum" or e-mail:
At the moment activists from the African - Initiative of Oury Jalloh in Dessau, The VOICE Refugee Forum, Flüchtlingsinitiative Brandenburg, Initiative of Black Community in Germany - ISD, Global African Congress - GAC (German Chapter) have confirmed their participation for the coordination of the events.
We appeal to Africans and Black community activists to organise and participate actively in the political manifestations and protest actions that will take place during the "Africa Conference Forum" on the 6th and 7th Jauary 2007 in Dessau.
We also hope that all interested activists and supporters of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh join with us for the continuous mobilisation and documentation in Solidarity with the victims of Police Brutality.
Osaren Igbinoba, The VOICE Refuge Forum.

Call for Court Observation
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh agonizingly burned to death---tied at his hands and feet in Cell Number 5 in Dessau. He was a 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone. The smoke and fire alarm were simply ignored by the supervising police officer; the communication system connected directly to the cell was turned off, supposedly because the police officers felt bothered by the "burbling noises" while they were talking on the telephone. Since his death to this day, the State Prosecutor, responsible for carrying out the investigations, has exclusively promoted the theory that Oury Jalloh committed suicide.
Nevertheless, there are simply too many contradictions in their theory: Why does a lighter first appear in a second inventory taken of the items found in the cell? How did a lighter enter into the cell when two police officers carried out a body search of Oury Jalloh? How do they explain the broken nasal bone and the injuries to the middle ear as found in the second autopsy organized by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh? What role did the racist attitude of Dessau's police play, which was recorded on tape before and during the fire and made partially public?
On the basis of the ascertainable facts regarding the death of Oury Jalloh and until it is proved otherwise we will continue to believe and make our opinion known: Oury Jalloh was murdered.
That all of these contradictions have even been made known to a wider public has only been possible thanks to the mobilization and engagement of friends and acquaintances of Oury Jalloh as well as diverse migrant, refugee and anti-racist organizations, who in spite of the attempts at criminalization and the persecution of several activists have never given up in fighting for an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh as well as justice and reparations. All of these groups have come together to form the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
Finally, after two years of mobilization and public campaigning of the Initiative, court proceedings are to be held in March against two of the police involved in the crime. Although we find this to be an important step in the direction of shedding light on the death of Oury Jalloh, we have serious doubt as to whether the proceedings will bring either justice or an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances.
Since Oury's murder, neither the court nor the State Prosecutor has shown interest in discovering the truth behind the events in Dessau. Rather, the case has been plagued by two years of impediments, cover-up and the denial to cooperate with the lawyers of Oury's parents. Only for the recognition of the mother and father as co-plaintiffs in the case did the court need 17 and 15 months to come to a decision, respectively. In addition, the State Prosecutor refused to allow an x-ray of Oury Jalloh's corpse to be carried out with the justification that it simply wasn't necessary. The second autopsy, carried out independently in the name of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, demonstrated then demonstrated the serious injuries to Oury's nose and middle ear.
But Oury Jalloh was not alone. Dominique Koumadio, for example, was shot and killed by the police on the 14th of April, 2006. The General Public Prosecutor has already absolved the police of any crime. The justification? Self-defense. Indeed, crimes by the police enjoy almost complete impunity, especially when those crimes are committed against refugees and migrants. Indeed, German police abuse refugees and migrants on a daily basis, and physical mistreatment is widespread, though punishment is seldom—if it even comes that far. In general, it is fair to say that the police, just as society, is dominated by a racist, inhumane consensus that sees refugees and migrants in general as sub-humans.
In general, Europe has made it known and enforced the fact that refugees and migrants, but especially Blacks, are not welcome here. Alone in 2006 more than 7,000 HUMAN BEINGS were forced into their death by a system which has systematically and eternally robbed them of their most basic right: the right to life. Who will pay the price for these murders? Who can give their families and friends back their loved ones?
These are just some of the reasons why we totally distrust the German legal system.
It is our responsibility to Oury, his family and all victims and survivors of racist police violence and even murder to come together and demonstrate to the court, to the society and to the world that we will not stand silently by while they continue their crimes in impunity. If we do not come together to stop this now, how many will follow? Who will be next?
A wide public and political mobilization to accompany the trial and assist the proceedings as independent observers is of extreme importance. We therefore call on all progressive sectors and people of solidarity to join us in Dessau for the entire length of the court proceedings. Vigils, events and rallies will be organized during the whole duration of the events.
Come to Dessau on March 27th-30th and April 19th-20th. Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time.

Breaking News: Oury Jalloh Case in Progress - Refugee News Network, Germany
Submitted by voice on Wed, 03/01/2007 - 11:11.
Police Brutality
Refugee News Network (RNN) -- 2 January 2007. The District Court of Dessau has today made public the decision to open up court proceedings against one of the two accused police officers for the murder of Oury Jalloh.
The decision of the court in Dessau, two years after the murder and one-and-a-half years after having received the formal accusation against the two police officers, is important but too long overdue. Nevertheless, only one policeman is being accused and not the two as originally demanded by the State Prosecutor's Office.
In any case, it is not enough and never will be, for no trial will ever give Oury Jalloh back his life and his family back their son. We continue to demand there be an open, transparent and thorough proceedings carried out against the accused and will vehemently reject any more attempts to cover up such a horrendous crime as burning a human being alive.
Yet it is a big victory for every single person who has engaged themselves in the fight for truth, justice and reparations in this case; a victory not handed down on any plate and definitely nothing to be thankful for; this is a victory won by the sweat, tears and sacrifice of many, many people, some of whom are no longer here to enjoy this moment with us because they have already been deported.
After two years of hard struggle, of painful tears of having seen the charcoaled corpse of a young man, being criminalized for protesting against state murder, personal and political difficulties, the authorities have been forced to do that which they have done everything in their power to avoid: they must now open up a trial against one of their own.
Now they will be forced to sit on the bank of the accused not only morally but physically. And we will be there. We will be there to look them in the eyes, to let them feel our hatred and anger for their deeds, for their treatment of human beings converted into refugees and migrants. We will be there to make our pain felt in every single person present. And they will know who they are.
There can never be any real justice for the survivors of this barbarity we are living; nothing in the world can give back to us that which has been brutally taken away: the people we love, brothers, sisters, sons, friends. Nothing can erase the pain, the trauma and the rage we feel inside, the anger and frustration; we carry it inside of us every single day.
There should be no expectation of justice coming out of the court; our justice is one that they will never be able to give to us. Like forcing the police to be put on trial, the only justice we will receive is that which we are capable of struggling for and achieving ourselves.
Yet this symbolic act---in a country where police impunity for crimes against foreigners is practically 100%--is also an important step which will allow us to unmask the systematic abuses, the violence, the controls and the humiliations suffered by so many of our brothers and sisters. And the truth will be told, even if not by the courts, the police, the media, government or society.
Holocaust survivor Jean Améry wrote about the nazi criminals responsible for his sufferings: "My resentments are there so that the crime becomes moral reality for the criminal, so that he will be forced into the truth
of his crime."
We take never again seriously. We will not forgive. We will not forget.
We call on all people of solidarity to show their support for this struggle, to show that we are not alone in standing up against injustice, and to take time to participate in the demonstrations on the 7^th of January in Dessau or Berlin for truth, justice and reparations for the murder of Oury Jalloh.

Oury Jalloh: Demonstrations in Dessau and Berlin - court hearing in March
On January 6 and 7, 2007, 2nd Anniversary of his racist killing by white German police took place in Dessau. The Black Community called for truth, justice and reparations for the murder of Oury Jalloh in police custody. The court hearing will take place from 27th to 30th of March 2007.
For two years now the murder of Oury Jalloh in a police cell in Dessau (East Germany) remains unpunished. Even today there has still not been any apologies made by the police or the responsible authorities. Likewise, no reparations have been made to the Jalloh family. Instead, an African friend of Oury, the person who has been most engaged in the struggle for truth and justice in this case, has :: suffered serious persecution. In addition, approximately ten activists of the campaign of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh have been accused of diverse "crimes."

For two years now diverse refugee, migrant and anti-racist groups have come together to break the silence and to demand truth, justice and reparations for the murder of Oury Jalloh.

On Saturday 6th of January 2007 an :: African Community Conference took place in Dessau under the title: Racist Police Killings and Criminalisation of Africans and Black in Germany. On this conference following demands of the Black Community in Germany were set:

1 We demand a speedy prosecution and sentencing of the police officers involved in the murder of Oury Jalloh and their removal from office.
2 We demand the resignation of the Dessau`s Chief of Police.
3 We demand the payment of reparations to the family of Oury Jalloh.
4 We demand the end of all police racist controls, brutality and killing of Blacks.
5 We demand justice and reparations for all victims of institutionalized racism, police and state violence against Blacks and for their families.

On Sunday 7th of January 2007 more than 200 People protested in Dessau in front of the police station where Oury was killed.

Parallel to the demonstration in Dessau there was a demonstration in Berlin taking place, too. More than 600 persons attended the demonstration there.

In spite of constant protest, public doubt as to the thesis that Oury Jalloh committed suicide and clear reasons to begin legal procedures, the threat is real that the unexplainable delays and obstructions by the District Court of Dessau will impede legal procedures from even beginning, thus obstructing any (possible) clarification as to how and why Oury Jalloh died. In the meantime, the court has refused to hold a hearing for one of the accused police officers, and in the case of the on-duty supervisor the judge has - once again; two years after the violent death! - ordered further pre-investigations.

If they have the right to speak of suicide, in spite of the fact that all facts lead to another conclusion, then we take it as our :: right to speak of murder.

Now the court in dessau has agreed :: to trial one of the police officers. Not with the charge of murder - but an opening up to investigate what realy happened is possible, now.

The court hearing will take place from 27th of March until 30th of March 2007 in Dessau.
Landgericht Dessau
Willy-Lohmann-Str. 29
06844 Dessau

Everybody is asked to :: attend the court hearing.

Oury Jalloh's Court Process Begins on 27th of March 2007 in Dessau.
Submitted by voice on Fri, 09/03/2007 - 11:17.
Break the silence!
Deutsch Text:
Break the silence!
Come to Dessau on March 27th - 30th and April 19th-20th of 2007
Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh agonizingly burned to death---tied at his hands and feet in Cell Number 5 in Dessau. He was a 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone. The smoke and fire alarm were simply ignored by the supervising police officer; the communication system connected directly to the cell was turned off, supposedly because the police officers felt bothered by the "burbling noises" while they were talking on the telephone. Since his death to this day, the State Prosecutor, responsible for carrying out the investigations, has exclusively promoted the theory that Oury Jalloh committed suicide.
Nevertheless, there are simply too many contradictions in their theory: Why does a lighter first appear in a second inventory taken of the items found in the cell? How did a lighter enter into the cell when two police officers carried out a body search of Oury Jalloh? How do they explain the broken nasal bone and the injuries to the middle ear as found in the second autopsy organized by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh? What role did the racist attitude of Dessau's police play, which was recorded on tape before and during the fire and made partially public?
On the basis of the ascertainable facts regarding the death of Oury Jalloh and until it is proved otherwise we will continue to believe and make our opinion known: Oury Jalloh was murdered.
That all of these contradictions have even been made known to a wider public has only been possible thanks to the mobilization and engagement of friends and acquaintances of Oury Jalloh as well as diverse migrant, refugee and anti-racist organizations, who in spite of the attempts at criminalization and the persecution of several activists have never given up in fighting for an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh as well as justice and reparations. All of these groups have come together to form the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
Finally, after two years of mobilization and public campaigning of the Initiative, court proceedings are to be held in March against two of the police involved in the crime. Although we find this to be an important step in the direction of shedding light on the death of Oury Jalloh, we have serious doubt as to whether the proceedings will bring either justice or an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances.
Since Oury's murder, neither the court nor the State Prosecutor has shown interest in discovering the truth behind the events in Dessau. Rather, the case has been plagued by two years of impediments, cover-up and the denial to cooperate with the lawyers of Oury's parents. Only for the recognition of the mother and father as co-plaintiffs in the case did the court need 17 and 15 months to come to a decision, respectively. In addition, the State Prosecutor refused to allow an x-ray of Oury Jalloh's corpse to be carried out with the justification that it simply wasn't necessary. The second autopsy, carried out independently in the name of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, demonstrated then demonstrated the serious injuries to Oury's nose and middle ear.
But Oury Jalloh was not alone. Dominique Koumadio, for example, was shot and killed by the police on the 14th of April, 2006. The General Public Prosecutor has already absolved the police of any crime. The justification? Self-defense. Indeed, crimes by the police enjoy almost complete impunity, especially when those crimes are committed against refugees and migrants. Indeed, German police abuse refugees and migrants on a daily basis, and physical mistreatment is widespread, though punishment is seldom—if it even comes that far. In general, it is fair to say that the police, just as society, is dominated by a racist, inhumane consensus that sees refugees and migrants in general as sub-humans.
In general, Europe has made it known and enforced the fact that refugees and migrants, but especially Blacks, are not welcome here. Alone in 2006 more than 7,000 HUMAN BEINGS were forced into their death by a system which has systematically and eternally robbed them of their most basic right: the right to life. Who will pay the price for these murders? Who can give their families and friends back their loved ones?
These are just some of the reasons why we totally distrust the German legal system.
It is our responsibility to Oury, his family and all victims and survivors of racist police violence and even murder to come together and demonstrate to the court, to the society and to the world that we will not stand silently by while they continue their crimes in impunity. If we do not come together to stop this now, how many will follow? Who will be next?
A wide public and political mobilization to accompany the trial and assist the proceedings as independent observers is of extreme importance. We therefore call on all progressive sectors and people of solidarity to join us in Dessau for the entire length of the court proceedings. Vigils, events and rallies will be organized during the whole duration of the events.
Come to Dessau on March 27th-30th and April 19th-20th. Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time.
The Court address: Landgericht Dessau, Willy-Lohmann-Str. 29, 06844 Dessau
Stay informed at: www.
Info-phone at: 0176-65977644
Donations can be made to: Antirassistische Initiative / Bank für Sozialwirtschaft / Konto-Nr.: 3039600 / BLZ: 100 205 00 / Stichwort: Dessau.

Oury Jalloh - Family Campaign in Dessau 2007
Submitted by voice on Wed, 06/12/2006 - 16:02.
Oury Jalloh - Family Campaign in Dessau
-African Community Conference in Dessau (06.01.2007)
Programm - African Community Conference in Dessau, 06.01.2007.
FR online: Feuertod des Asylbewerbers bleibt ungeklärt
Invitation to all activists, friends and families of victims of police violence and murder
In remembrance of the second anniversary of the death of Oury Jalloh, who was murdered while tied at his hands and feet in a police cell in Dessau.
Please receive our warmest greetings in the name of The Voice Refugee Forum, the Refugee Initiative Brandenburg (FIB), Initiative Schwarzer Menschen in Deutschland (ISD) and the African Refugee Initiative in Dessau.
As co-organizers of the Africa Conference_Dessau on "Racist Police Killings and Criminalisation of Africans and Black in Germany" to be held in the city of Dessau on the 6th of January, 2007, we would like to extend you our warmest invitation to participate in this conference, in which we will focus on the issue of networking activists, friends and families victims of police violence, among other topics. Additionally, on Sunday the 7th of January, Oury Jalloh Initiatives are coordinating demonstrations to take place in Dessau and Berlin in remembrance of the second anniversary of the death of Oury Jalloh.
In order to comemorate the brutal death of Oury Jalloh, the African community in Dessau in collaboration with nationwide initiatives of Oury Jalloh in Germany are calling on all Africans and well wishers to use this day in remembrace of other Afrcans and blacks who died in the racist hands of this country. Let us put in mind our departed brothers and sisters; Dominique Kouamadio (Dortmund), Laye-Alama Condé (Bremen), John Achidi (Hamburg), N'deye Mareame Sarr (Aschaffenburg), Amir Ageeb (München), Kola Bankole (Frankfurt), Alberto Adriano (Dessau) and Amadeo Antoneo.
“Oury Jalloh was not alone. He was one of the many refugees who have died because they were forced to flee in search of a better life. Of something to eat and maybe even - ---Oury Jalloh was only 21 years-old---the possibility to study. For some reason we fail to understand, this is considered by many European governments and their citizens to be a crime.
And thus, refugees seeking protection are treated as mere criminals, and like people criminalized by society, their rights and dignity are taken away from them. Refugees are people for whom opportunity and respect remain foreign words lacking any kind of real meaning in their lives.
Especially here. Especially in Germany, where we are isolated and excluded from society” .. ….at the Oury Jalloh Funeral speech in 2005 of the Plataforma – Berlin.
Unfortunately, we are confronted with the sad reality that very few people in this society are interested in our pain, and thus do not have the burning need to see that truth and justice are done. But neither can we do it alone. We therefore deeply need one another, to share our loss and our experiences, to strengthen one another in our basic necessities of fulfilling our demands. If we cannot do this for ourselves nobody will do it for us.
Without each other, we are alone and vulnerable.
We extend you our hands and hearts, hoping that we can take this opportunity to join together in both our pain and our need to see that there are no more unnecessary deaths like those of Oury, Dominique, Laye, Achide and many, many others. This disrespect of human life must have an end, but only we in the situation are in conditions at the moment to make this clear to the society.
We will meet to discuss the struggle and support against racist police killings and against every form of criminalition of the Africans in Germany
To realize the demands of the African community Conference_Dessau
For justice and Dignity;
1. We want a speedy case procedure of the death of Oury Jalloh
2. Call for the stop of police brutality
3. Call for the protection of Africans like any other individual living in Dessau
4. Call for the right of residence to those Africans who have been refused their rights
For the necessary critical precision, transparency and consequences —
resolute public pressure is needed NOW!
Hoping to receive a positive response, we remain yours in solidarity.
In Solidarity we Remain
The VOICE Refugee Forum; Handy 0049 (0) 176 24568988,,

First preliminary report by Silas Nkanunu, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Submitted by voice on Wed, 18/04/2007 - 15:54.
The delegates Observation Reports on the Process – Oury Jalloh Trial in Dessau.
First preliminary report by Silas Nkanunu, Port Elizabeth, South Africa Member of the International Delegation of the Oury Jalloh Initiative.
Germany, as a country, ranks among the most developed countries - politically, economically and socially. She is a signatory to, inter alia, United Nations Human Rights Charter, the Geneva Convention etc., - International instruments whose signatories undertake, amongst other things, to adhere and uphold the protection of human rights.
Refugees wherever they originate and irrespective of colour, race and creed, are human beings and are entitled to protection under law. They are, invariable, victims of oppression and exploitation in their country of origin and seek asylum in another country primarily to consolidate their struggle against their oppressors at the country of origin.
In South Africa, Blacks were dehumanised; confined to ghettos; freedom of movement restricted through past laws; prohibited from white areas after specified hours - curfew; access to public buildings demarcated specifically for the privileged and another for the oppressed; business premises for the oppressed outside the ghettos prohibited - just to name a few. Needless to state that one would not expect such practices in first world countries like Germany.
The Oury Jalloh incident and the apparent general plight of refugees especially from Africa, in Germany calls for, in my view, a well co-ordinated, sustained and coalesced all inclusive activity, e.g. United Nations Human Rights Forum lobbying as well as other Human Rights Organisations throughout the world but specifically European Union
Countries; Targeting certain E.U. Countries Embassies or consulates in Germany; Preparing memoranda and organising marches to targeted Embassies in Germany where the memos would be presented and soliciting comment therefrom - all these activities would be intended to bring pressure upon the German Government to act.
The on going trial at Dessau may not in itself, in my view irrespective of the outcome, bring about drastic changes on the status of refugees in Germany. It may possibly highlight lack of application and compliance by the German Government to International Conventions to which Germany is a party. Also, possible highlight lack of transformation of relevant government institutions.
Countries like Germany that proclaim democracy ought to subscribe and demonstrate by act and deed a commitment to the core values of the democracy, social justice and fundamental human rights. The courts likewise ought to uphold these rights without favour or fear and express themselves unequivocally in ensuring that the rule of law is unimpeded by the executive, legislature and state organs.
I have refrained from addressing the trial specifically as I consider the matter to be sub-judice. However, it would appear, thus far, that the police have closed ranks even though a smoking gun exists. The mere death in the custody of the police is a serious indictment; the lack of a proper enquiry by an independent body affront to the German Legal System. One consolation though is the able and successful exposure of mal-practices by the police by the family lawyers especially in view of the apparent bias demonstrated the bench earlier when the roommate of the deceased testified.

Silas Nkanunu
Observer Mission Report on the first days of the Dessau Precess
Oury Jalloh burnt to death in Police Cell 5
As a South African, the Oury Jalloh initiative on the treatment of African refugees reminded me of our recent past where non-white persons were confined to ghettos and rural reserves - the latter which became Bantustans / Homelands. Movement from these areas was restricted through past laws and in urban areas regulated through curfew laws.
The status of refugees is enshrined in various International Treaties to which the majority of nations subscribe including Germany but regrettably do not adhere to. Most have not even constituted independent organs of state to ensure compliance therewith.
The separation of powers in Democratic States i.e. the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary is not only blurred but also compounded by lack of openness, transparency, accountability and independence especially of the Judiciary. In some instances the Judiciary compromises its independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness.
Further, the Judiciary is often substantially in the hands of persons who embody past autocratic and authoritarian values which are inconsistent with democratic values.
The attitude of the Presiding Judge left much to be desired and demonstrated a lack of concern for human life and dignity in his intimidating questioning of the room mate of the deceased who was also a refugee and an African in particular. This was done in the presence of the deceased family that had travelled all the way from Africa and yet hardly
The denial of special access to the trial in Dessau to some members of the observer mission was indicative of a total disregard of accepted international norms. The massive police presence and its activities reminded me in particular of the so-called terrorism trials (freedom fighters) in South African before 1990 where the human dignity, privacy and freedom and security of a person especially blacks was undermined.
The arrest, detention and death in custody of any human being in any country especially in so-called first world states and G8 states like Germany in particular is a serious matter let alone a refugee who, I believe, ought to have a special status. Such an incident ought to have alerted not only the Judiciary but also the Government to respond
appropriately more so in view of a similar incident before.
In our jurisdiction, the leading of evidence in chief of any witness is done by an independent officer from the Independent Prosecuting Authority and not by the Judge as was the case. This approach also, in my view, compromises the independence of the Judiciary.
On the evidence, the arrest of the deceased was unnecessary more so that he was known to the police officers and there was no need to verify his identity and/or residence papers and even if it was necessary that is sue could have been sorted out quickly at the police station and the deceased either allowed to go home or taken home by the police. Further, if the detention was to give the deceased time to sober up as he was allegedly under the influence of liquor, there was no need to restrain or chain him to a cell bed as was the case. His protest to arrest and detention was, in my view, consistent with actions of any normal person against whom a wrongful and malicious arrest by the police was at issue.
His human rights and dignity were violated and when detained he could not even relieve himself and / or respond to natural body requirements hence the alleged pool of water nearby in the cell presumably urine.
The evidence of the conversation between one policeman and a doctor who allegedly said that it was difficult to trace a vein from a black person as, to say the least, extremely racist and deserved referral to the Medical Council, if one existed, for unethical behaviour.
The evidence of the police search of the deceased prior to incarceration was amazing, to say the least, in that a person is imaginary divided into two and one policeman would only be responsible for search above the hip and the other below when in fact one would expect one police officer to conduct the search throughout and if necessary and another to conduct a second independent search to ensure that a proper search has been done. In any event, the critical aspect of any body search, I believe, is to remove objects that could and engender harm to the person when in custody. If the deceased smoked and tobacco found in his possession then common sense would dictate that the person would either have a match or a lighter and such would not be left in his possession.
The timing of the visits to the cell by police officers where the deceased was chained, if done at all, according to the evidence which is doubtful was lackadaisical.
The fire extinguishers and lack of exactness as to locality left much to be desired especially in view of an earlier incident in the same police cells. The apparent lack of training of police officers in emergency fire situations was also a matter of concern.
The cell fire detector and alarm was not as effective as it should be even for ordinary detainees let alone a strained one.
The difficulty initially encountered by the family lawyers from the Presiding Judge in questioning a witness or witnesses on similar facts i.e. the earlier death custody sadly demonstrated an element of bias towards the accused police officers by the Presiding Judge.
The warning to the colleague of one of the accused who effected the arrest and search of the deceased to the effect that he should guard against answering any self-incriminating questions was, in my view, unnecessary as he was not the accused and could have been asked to be honest and truthful where after he could be indemnified from any possible prosecution by the court.
Protests and demonstrations as was the case in Dessau are one of the activities through which the populace of any country engage in order to draw the attention of public representatives in Government to any unwanted invasion of people's rights. Public representatives in Government ought to take these activities seriously and interact with those involved in order to articulate their grievances in appropriate Government fora.
In South Africa, we have independent constitutional state organs - The Human Rights Commission which is empowered not only to investigate and report on infringements of human rights but also to secure appropriate redress of matters similar to the Oury Jalloh incident; the Public Protector whose functions are, inter alia, to investigate any untoward conduct in state affairs or in the public administration, report thereon and take appropriate remedial action; the Independent Complaints Directorate specifically created to deal with complaints by members of the public against any inappropriate conduct of any police officer or officers. I have no knowledge of the existence or non-existence of such constitutional structures in Germany and, if none exist, would urge the Oury Jalloh initiative to maintain and sustain its activities until similar national institutions are established.
Whilst in Germany, I did not enquire on how refugees from other European Countries outside the European Union are dealt with and treated but if treated differently from refugees from Africa, such would raise a further concern on racism.

Regina Kiwanuka* - Ugandan Human Rights Activists, Member of the International Delegation
Submitted by voice on Tue, 10/04/2007 - 15:45.
Regina Kiwanuka* (Ugandan Human Rights Activists, Member of the International Delegation of the Oury Jalloh Initiative.
*Observations and comments*
04 April 2007
*Oury Jalloh trial in the Honourable Court of Dessau East Germany
Tuesday 27th - Friday 30th March 2007
It was hectic that Tuesday morning. Before 7 a.m. people from all walks of life appeared on the doorstep of the Lands Court to witness and observe the process of obtaining justice for one of our own, Oury Jalloh. Oury Jalloh, from Sierra Leon, met a terrifying death on 7 January 2005 in cell number 5 in the basement of a police precinct in Dessau. His hands and feet were tightly tied and shackled, and then he was bundled into a cell and burnt to death. Now the time had come for people to hear more details relating to this grisly death from the people who put him in that cell to die. The media comprised more than 20 reporters from many different media houses.
After 26 months of vehement campaigns and protests from the Oury Jalloh initiative, created and sustained by patriots and human rights activists of various nationalities including Germans, the Court was compelled to charge both police officers Schubert and Maerz who executed duties on that Friday morning of 07 January 2005.
A few minutes after 9 a. m. the doors were opened and bombarded by many men and women, the media pushing along with their gadgets; lawyers and dignitaries from various organisations all unashamedly pushing their way through to get seats for proper observation of the day's events. The first day of hearing portrayed the highest level of prejudice emanating from the Honourable court. The only one African witness on behalf of the dead man was intimidated and heartlessly cross examined by the Honourable Judge himself. The judge concentrated on Oury Jalloh's assumed habits, particularly the negative behaviour perceived as unacceptable by society. The questions he raised were based on alcoholism, drug addiction and aggressiveness. Not one query concerning
the ground of his arrest or whether he was allowed that one telephone call to inform a friend of his arrest, or whether he should have been driven to hospital rather than a police cell. What court seemed to say was, the black man deserves no human rights, therefore accord him none.
As they packed our ancestors for slavery and plunder, oblivious to humanity, so it was here symbolised as a clear extension of apartheid in a foreign land.
The mother to Oury Jalloh was not spared the details of the cruel and inhuman manner in which Oury was arrested and dragged down to the police station and burned. The harsh questions from the judge, whether Oury smoked hashish, and if he had started therapy sessions at all, how aggressive was he? Did he drink alcohol? Why do people drink? He went on to criminalise Oury Jalloh in front of his mother and half brother who had travelled from Guinea to witness the trial process, and their loved one's last days in Germany. Court was portraying the invasion of the aggressors more than 500 years ago. The bitterness and sorrow of the black man is crystallized through this poor woman who kept mourning her son all through the court process.
Mr. Andreas Schubert, the head of the Dessau police precinct where two detainees have died in the same cell under his administration in a space of four years, is an arrogant man and very sure of himself. He did not seem touched by the events; no signs of remorse. To him it was just another incident of a death in a police cell. How many more deaths is he to ignore before the hand of law intervenes? He is the incarnate of the
colonial masters who horrendously vacuumed the life out of our ancestors who attempted to resist the despicable terrorism of colonialism.
All police officers, all witnesses in those four days denied and contradicted previous statements. This represents the vacuum structure of self independence in former colonies. African leaders and independence are but a portrayed picture to fool the fools as Africa is still under colonialism, sustained plunder of natural and human
resources, beaten up and burned to death humans, the extension of apartheid and elimination no longer disguised. Many details were blocked by 'no comment' - in particular Mr. Schubert's racist telephone conversation with the doctor. The aggressors more than 500 years ago called us inconceivable unimaginable names - monkeys, gorrillas unworthy of living, at the same time grievously suffocating the life out of us.
Where is the attention of the international conventions vis-a-vis the refugees? All witnesses verify there was no fire lighter anywhere on Oury Jalloh's body. So where did the lighter that sparked off that fateful fire come from? Who planted it? Who burned Oury Jalloh and what was the motive? According to the testimony that came out in the four days, the German police burned Oury Jalloh alive. Mr. Schubert did not
delay to attend to the fire alarm; he simply ignored it. Jalloh was checked upon every now and again from 10hrs to 11.54hrs, then at 12hrs they let him burn. Is it not amazing how all police officers were lost with the time frame at the last hour? That the black smoke was so unbearable but no signs of fire itself! How long does it take for the
black smoke to form within a precinct full of police officers? Amazingly on 7 January 2005, all police officers lost their memory span, as to who was there and how many. The contradiction from Schneider that "after tying him up we just left him there" tells it all. Many questions rise from this statement.
Then the fear in the eyes of the defence lawyer, Mr. Sven Tamoschus, objecting to Officer Schneider's testimony is enough confirmation to much more than meets the eye. There was persistant obstruction of justice, and the audacity of it all boggles the mind. Mr. Schneider and Maerz arrested Jalloh on 7 January 2005; who else is in a better position to relay the actual events that took place on that fateful day rather than from the horse's mouth itself? The manner in which Mr. Schneider described the events, Jalloh was very brave he answered back to the police, he had no fear he was as tired of them as they he. The police were very angry and aggressive; they pushed him over his head as Schneider illustrated, ushered him into a car and drove him to the towering inferno. Did he scream? Did he call out for help? Was he beaten unconscious before burning to
charcoal, or did they let him feel it?
"There was nothing to burn in the basement anyway; it's made up of tiles," one officer said. Was Oury Jalloh categorised as part of the tiles? And where did the water paddle inside cell 5 come from? Will the world ever learn the real truth behind this notorious act? This inconceivable death of Oury Jalloh, feet and hands tied, fixed tightly to the wall on the mattress on the floor, in the custody of police officers who are sworn to protect life rather than destroy it, is a symbol of the apartheid, extended monstrous colonialism, capitalism, imperialism and most of all the despicable efforts and vision of the white race to eliminate and wipe out the African race.
Oury Jalloh was being criminalised as an alcoholic, a drug addict with an aggressive and unruly behaviour with signs of suicide. Justifying their barbaric atrocities, the system is prepared to reach the highest extremities to get the police force off the hook, to break the will, the dignity of an African man and to destroy him. Then after we are
murdered, their actions shall for ever be justified by criminalising us, since we don't have a voice.
We must heave and repel this concerted criminal effort to eliminate and wipe the African man off the universe. Oury Jalloh's death is a significant symbol of elimination.
My name is Regina Kiwanuka. I am a political refugee in Germany and a human rights activist. My father Benedicto Kiwanuka was the first Prime Minister of Uganda and the first Ugandan Chief Justice. He was dragged out of his high court chambers on 21 September 1972, and was brutally murdered by Idi Amin's gorillas. He suffered a slow painful death as he was chopped to pieces whilst alive. Benedicto Kiwanuka died fighting for the voiceless like Oury Jalloh.
I relate his slow painful death to that of Oury jalloh under the same rule and power of the aggressors. SHOW ME ANOTHER PLANET WITHOUT THE AGGRESSORS AND I WILL TAKE MY LEAVE. Regina Kiwanuka in Nürnberg.

First Preliminary Report of Rolf Gössner on Organized Irresponsability
Submitted by voice on Mon, 16/04/2007 - 22:09.
Death Because of fire in the Police Department Put on Trial
Organized Irresponsability
First Preliminary Report of Rolf Gössner
In- and outside of the district court of Dessau high safety precautions are taken – intensified controls, police vans and police officers dressed in battle uniforms accompanied by dogs characterize the situation. With these means the proceedings against two police officers are protected who are accused by the state attorney and the co-plaintiffs of being responsible for the death caused by fire of the black asylum seeker Oury Jalloh. Not any other proceedings in Dessau have ever attracted such a degree of international public interest. At least at the beginning of the proceedings 27th March 2007 the city of Dessau was visited by many journalists and the district court had to deal with a rush of people. The proceedings are observed by Amnesty International and an international delegation of trial observers whose members come from South Africa, Great Britain and France. Three German civil rights group attend the proceedings too: the Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte (International League of Human Rights), Pro Asyl and the Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy). The observation of the proceedings is supposed to signal to the judiciary that there is a particular interest and it shall provide for a critical debate in the public – considering that the criminal proceedings have dragged on for two years now.
The two police officers are accused of grave assault with deadly consequences because of omission and manslaughter by neglect. Oury Jalloh who fled civil war and came from Sierra Leona was arrested in early 2005 in a state of drunkenness. The purpose was to clarify his identity. Because of the fact that Oury Jalloh resisted against this treatment the police officers cuffed his hands and feet. He was hardly able to move anymore and the police officers left him restrained and alone in the cell. The police officers conducted a control visit of the cuffed person only every thirty respectively forty minutes. Apparently this was too rarely and not carefully done since Oury Jalloh burnt to death alive on the the hardly inflammable mattress 7th January 2005.
The responsible police officers did not react in time in spite of unusual noises and cryings transmitted by the intercom and two different fire alarms ringing. Not before the cell has already been filled with heavy smoke and after the corpse of the painfully died has been nearly charred did one of the accused bring himself to take a look and call the fire fighters as the arraignment states.
During the first days of the proceedings a lot has been written and broadcast on the trial. The explosive nature of the case was underlined and remaining questions to be answered by the proceedings were mentioned. The latter include the question whether the death was a matter of suicide which could had been prevented if the police officers had reacted in time and according to duty. Another question is whether one has to deal with a case of omitted assistance, manslaughter by neglect or as some affirm, murder because of racist motives.
Already after four days during which a lot of witnesses have been heard one can draw important conclusions which are nevertheless preliminary since the proceedings will last until June. First of all it is a success that the trial does take place at all. Usually deaths in police departments and police violence do not lead to an opening of a trial.
The public pressure has very likely made the difference. Apart from that the co-plaintiffs, who among others represent the mother of the killed, have achieved an important success. Due to their engagement and against the original will of the judge and the lawyers of the defense the case of the person who died in 2002 in the same cell of the Dessau police department will be taken into consideration of the proceedings.
At that time a homeless person at the age of 36 died in custody under the same officer in charge accused right now for irresponsibility once again. The criminal investigation against him was closed but the the question concerning a possible conduct contrary to duty remained opened – an aspect relevant also to the current proceedings. In any case surprising parallels cannot be denied.
Viewed upon from today, it is obvious that already the circumstances of the identity control and the arrest are related to racism. One has to keep in mind that Oury Jalloh had a valid identity paper with him and only some months before he had already been taken into custody in order to clarify his identity, which at least one of the accused knew. Thus it should have been possible to quickly clarify his identity but instead he has been arrested in a cell for several hours. In this country refugees and in particular black people have to undergo these kind of repeated and discriminatory procedures on a everyday basis. In the court room where the audience was made up of many black Africans one could really feel that also their humiliating everyday experiences were treated as a topic. This was especially noticeable when police officers were examined as witnesses. They often pretended to be incapable to recall the events and entangled themselves in severe contradictions compared to their testimony already taken earlier during the criminal investigation.
It was inhumane and against the constitutionally guaranteed appropriateness of the means that Oury Jalloh was taken into arrest for a superfluous and long winded clarification of identity and that he was cuffed with hands and feet during several hours supposedly for his own security just because he resisted the arrest. This objection becomes even more true taking into consideration that with the degree of alcohol in his blood Oury Jalloh should have rather been transported to a doctor. As a matter of fact the custody order has been changed in that sens after the violent death of Oury Jalloh: People with an alcohol level of more than 200 milliliters have to be treated as a medical case instead of being taken into custody.
Just the compulsory measures exercised on Oury Jalloh require a higher degree of security to be guaranteed by the involved and responsible police officers vis-à-vis their victim. The police officers have not at all fulfilled this duty – rather to the contrary. The delayed reaction to all alarm signals stemming from the arrest cell, which makes up the reason for the arraignment of one of the police officers, might have also been motivated by racism – if one interprets the cynic way of talking about the detained during two telephone calls accordingly. These conversations between the accused and the doctor who attested Oury Jalloh to be “fit for custody” were recorded.
The same accused held responsibility for the whole custody area, the highly dangerous fixation of Oury Jalloh and the control rounds. The taking of testimony up to the moment makes up a partly terrifying picture of the conditions in the realm of the accused's responsibility.
Little by little one gets to know a security office in which “security” ranks superior to human dignity and civil rights, in which control rounds are only carelessly done (“he was doing alright”, stated a police witness about the restrained Jalloh), in which there hardly took place any schooling, let alone fire preventions, in which unusual noises and alarm signals by fire and smoke detectors do not lead to a sudden reaction but first of all to ignorance. “I was busy doing other things” - in this way the accused tried to defend himself on court again and again. In the end the security custody transformed into deadly trap with no escape.
In this regard one could speak of a failure of organization, even of an organized irresponsibility. One of the police officers examined as a witness even mentioned that because of the lack of minimal fire preventions the police headquarter should have been closed long ago. In this case Oury Jalloh would be still alive.

Elliot Perkins Report on the Oury Jalloh Trial, Member of the International Observer Delegation
Submitted by voice on Mon, 16/04/2007 - 20:28.
International Observer Delegation
Interim Report on the Oury Jalloh Trial
Dessau, 27th – 30th March, 2007
Submitted by Elliot Perkins
The first day of the Oury Jalloh trial the delegation and members of the public were met with an absurd level of security. Given that there were only fifty seats available for the public in the court, an estimate of a police-to-public ratio of almost 1:1 would not be over-exaggerated. Three police officers guarded the stairwell of each of the floors, another six or seven were present in the lobby, three or four were permanently deployed in the rear access to the court next to the armoured vehicles. Police dogs and handlers were regularly deployed in the lobby throughout the hearing. Additionally a team of “Justiz” security officers were charged with overseeing body searches and regulating entry and exit. Outside the court a whole infantry of police officers were awaiting the slightest sign of any trouble . On the first day a police camera was set up in a room above the entrance to monitor the street, another was mounted on a police van opposite the court on the other side of the road. This exercise in intimidation was at best unnecessary, at worst heavy-handed and antagonistic in itself.
On one occasion, as Ulrich M left the courtroom and waved to several of his uniformed colleagues guarding the rear entrance, it gave the impression that this was like a football team playing at home. In some way one couldn’t help thinking that the excessive security and heavy police presence seemed to endorse the actions of the two defendants. It was clear that the police turnout was a reaction to their being put on trial as an organisation.
After the public and media interest of the first day had subsided it was a surprise to be confronted by the same number of police personnel on the second day of proceedings and subsequently throughout the week. Already on the second day I asked myself the question;“what are they afraid of?”
Maybe one could take heart in the notion that from the resources invested in manning the court, in some way the police acknowledged the gravity of the charges brought against them and the outrage that was bound to ensue.
The power relations inside the court were however markedly different. Throughout all four days of the proceedings the public gallery was full of supporters, the majority of whom were themselves refugees or asylum seekers. Others were largely local supporters from radical left associations who had been involved in running the campaign. Amnesty International and The International League of Human Rights also had observers present. This overwhelmingly critical contingent of the audience helped to provide a counterweight to the angry, authoritarian outbreaks of the judge, especially on the first day. Indeed it is important to note that the first person to mention the word “racism” aloud was a Black member of the audience who stood up and protested loudly when a transcript of a telephone conversation containing racist remarks was read out. He left the court and did not come back.
The vigil outside the court building coupled with media coverage of the delegation’s involvement and the efforts of the “Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh” made for an uncomfortable mood in the courtroom both for the presiding judge, the defendants and their lawyers. However even before proceedings had begun it was clear that the court was hostile to an international delegation of observers as only two personal applications by delegates were accepted, both were German nationals who are well known in their own right as human rights activists. Thus the court’s unwillingness to cooperate with the other delegates must be construed as an extension of the very attitudes and prejudices which would be witnessed so often in the following days inside the courtroom.
The Proceedings
A rather insensitive start saw the hearings begin without any recognition of Oury Jalloh’s family who had travelled from Guinea and had been overwhelmed by press cameras and the public gaze. Not once did the judge acknowledge their loss or the emotional ordeal that was still to come throughout the trial. Shortly after the beginning of proceedings Oury Jalloh’s mother wept aloud in a silent courtroom, comforted only by her son and Mouctah B a friend of Oury and proponent of the campaign.
There was a marked difference in the conduct of the presiding judge from the first day’s sitting to the subsequent days. Contributions made by the family’s lawyers on Tuesday were punctuated with choleric and reactionary outbursts from Judge Steinhoff. These seemed typically loaded in favour of the defence as they invariably came as objections to appeals and questions made by the familiy’s lawyers. This exchange reached critical mass on two occasions the first was when the family’s lawyers made an application to the bench that questions relevant to the case of Mario Bichtemann (who also died in the same cell as Oury Jalloh under the watch of Andreas Sch and was examined by the same doctor Andreas Bl) be permitted in the hearing. Judge Steinhoff and the defence tried at great length to rule out any questions on Bichtemann and at one time the judge was positively irate at the Ulrich von Klingräffs persistence in pursuing the validity and relevance of an examination of the events surrounding Mario Bichtemann’s death. It was clear that the judge was keen to put down all attempts which would allow for the scope of the case to be widened to take in the highly relevant case which, it could be argued, set a precedent for Oury Jallohs death.
The second occasion on which the judge lost his composure was a reaction to the claim made by the prosecution lawyers and the lawyer representing witness Mahmadou B, Oury Jallohs flat mate that he was “manipulating the witness”. The judge made several attempts to discredit the witness by implying that he did not want to give the court information about Oury Jalloh, not, as the witness says, that he was unable to give the requested information. Indeed this cross-examination was very aggressive and the judge’s line of questioning wasted a valuable opportunity to find out more about Oury Jalloh as a person and to explore the wider social context in which he lived and thousands like him still do. Due to the judge’s merciless pressuring of the witness one had the impression that he “clammed-up” and the prosecution lawyers were unable to get answers to their questions as a result.
In contrast, an attempt by prosecutor Regina Goetz to explore Sch’s background with regards to his training and relevant competences was swiftly put down by the judge and not surprisingly gave the impression that a scrutiny of the victim’s alleged dependency on alcohol and drugs was central to the proceedings whereas an examination of Sch’s background was not. This selective questioning left the court wide open to accusations of bias.
However Wednesday brought a change in the mood of judge Steinhoff. Contrary to all expectations the court granted the prosecution questions on the Bichtemann case. After this the judge seemed resigned to the fact that the case would be long and complex and that the family lawyers had a whole raft of unanswered questions which could only be resolved by widening the scope of the trial to the Bichtemann precedent and complex social factors such as everyday attitudes and practices within the police force. It is to the credit of the family’s lawyers that the proceedings will now examine these important “external” influences. Later in the week on cross-examining U Sch, who accompanied Ulrich M to the scene of Oury Jalloh’s arrest, the defence made an objection to this witness being questioned at all (as the defence argued that he was at risk of implicating himself), judge Steinhoff continued to surprise when he overruled this objection by granting the witness a right to silence only in relation to questions about the bodily search of Oury Jalloh and otherwise allowed the witness to be questioned. As of Tuesday his authoritarian contempt for the “insubordination” of the family’s lawyers was contained to a minimum. Ultimately the trial has been extended to twenty sittings which could arguably be seen as a significant concession.
Witnesses – bad cop, bad cop
Without entering into a technical discussion as to which of the witnesses were police officers and executors of the law and which were merely staff on the police payroll, I will risk a potentially contentious categorisation of Brigitte Schl, an admin worker at Dessau police station as a “civilian”. Apart from the uniformed officers, to date the court has cross-examined Mahmadou B., Anette F., Karin R-S, Angelika B., Siegrind Z. and Brigitte Schl. – all of whom I will regard as “civilians”
With the exception of the two street cleaners who originally reported the alleged “harassment” to the police and whose statements conflicted both with each others and their own original statements, the testimonies given by the civilian witnesses have by far been the most direct, seemingly honest and generally credible. Maybe the fact that these witnesses are not implicated “by uniform” and effectively have no colleagues to look out for gives them a greater degree of spontaneity and relieves them from having to think twice about everything they say before the words leave their mouths. The frank and vivid descriptions of the events given by Anette F. and Brigitte Schl. emphasise a stark contrast between their “civilian” testimonies and the seemingly contrived, complicit and rehearsed accounts given by the police officers. This thinly veiled display of connivance was at times pitiful and provided the public and the court with the paradoxical spectacle of the so-called “upholders of the law” apparently covering for their colleagues and superiors by losing a few metres here and a couple of minutes there. Ultimately these clumsy, blundering and inept versions of the day’s events make a conspiratorial murder plot virtually inconceivable as I am not convinced that several of these witnesses would have the astuteness to avoid making grave errors which would expose the guilty parties.
Apart from the “quality” of some of the witnesses, the other failings of the cross-examination of witnesses was the sequencing. At first glance it seems that the order of witnesses is an attempt at trying to chronologically reconstruct the truth – the phrase “in order of appearance” comes to mind. It is widely agreed that Beate H., Sch’s colleague with whom he shared an office is the central witness upon whose testimony the case may well stand or fall. It seems illogical that if her testimony is so important that she should be heard so late in the trial.
The police and the lines of (ir)responsibility
After hearing the testimonies from Sch and M it became immediately clear that to view the escalation of the events of January 7, 2005 in their real context it would be necessary to explore attitudes and prejudices in everyday police practices. How could the nullity of an arrest made on very questionable legal grounds snowball into the horrific and painful death of Oury Jalloh and the violence which preceded it?
The death of Oury Jalloh did not take place in a vacuum, where certain actors were, or were not inclined to intervene, would ultimately result in tragedy.
The cross-examination of witnesses throughout the week produced numerous discrepancies between the testimonies of the respective witnesses and their individual statements taken on the day of, or shortly after Oury Jalloh’s death. A whole catalogue of negligence, indifference, selective responsibility and contempt for human rights seemed to blight the deutsche Ordnung that is otherwise so punctilious and omnipresent when one just wants some information or, God forbid, help from the authorities. Sch told the court that although in his opinion he was “responsible for just about everything” he had in fact never received formal training for his post and that he had taught himself the necessary skills by “watching others.” The same is true of training in fire safety, although he was responsible for training the other members of staff he maintains that he never received expert training himself and relied upon self-acquired knowledge for the purpose of training. In fact almost all of the police staff who regularly worked in the custody block could not affirm the location of the bitterly inadequate fire saftey equipment. Hans-Jürgen B, a police witness who had served in the fire brigade for many years prior to becoming a detective said of the lack of fire-fighting equipment and fire safety and evacuation notices that “the police station should be closed down”. Even his expert opinion and concern for the poor fire precautions never gave him cause to notify his superiors or anybody else that improvements were necessary, he said that wasn’t his responsibility. This institutional blindness to matters outside an officer’s remit was seen time and again throughout the trial. Whilst hearing from Udo S who conducted the body search together with Ulrich M the court heard of the absurd limits of responsibility which demarcate the duties of individual officers - Udo S was responsible for searching the upper body, Ulrich M the lower half. This officiousness sees Oury Jalloh’s body as the locus of a conflict in which the officers involved are trying to divest themselves of any blame - a line is literally drawn across his body and the exact location of that line is enough to inculpate or exonorate the respective parties. Individual officer’s indifference to what happens on the other side of these lines can only be described as a blinkered responsibility in which both moral and procedural duties are of little interest to police officers if they do not fall within their given job description.
“That rattling is really getting on my nerves”: contempt and indifference amongst the police.
A general contempt for human rights and a disregard for the dignity of certain members of society both in police custody and in the public sphere became evident in the mindset of almost all of the police officers who were cross-examined. Sch attempted to relativise the protracted restraining of Oury Jalloh on the grounds that he was a) violent and b) that he needed time to establish the detainee’s true identity as the photocopy found on Oury Jalloh during the search aroused automatic suspicion and doubt as to whether the photocopied picture matched the original. Sch told the court that he had twelve hours in which to perform such an identity check. Having been informed that the central police computer was not working correctly, Sch saw no urgency to pursue the matter further and evidently did not think to contact the local Ausländerbehörde as the most likely place to find records for Oury Jalloh in order to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The question that has to be asked is; given that Oury Jalloh had once been deprived of his freedom by being locked in a secure cell and secondly his human rights by the legally questionable practice of being restrained at the hands and feet, did Sch view these twelve hours as a license to drag his heels on establishing the identity of his charge or did these twelve hours constitute an absolute maximum which, in a humane world, would never be made use of? The accused’s account of his handling of the issue could not convince me of anything other than contempt for the dignity of the man downstairs chained to floor of cell number five. This question is central to Oury Jalloh’s death, had Sch made every effort to speed up the identity check Oury Jalloh would not have been forced to endure the barbaric ordeal of detention and subsequently of course his horrific death. However, as Sch put it; “other things got in the way.”
The court also heard of alleged comments made by Sch about the sounds coming from the intercom link to cell number five of the young man straining against the restraints. He instructed Bernd M and Jürgen S to check on Oury Jalloh because the rattling was “getting on his nerves”
Bernd M also gave further examples of this culture of contempt and indifference. M had obviously rehearsed his testimony together with Jürgen S to the point which, when discrepancies arose, the two almost risked perjuring themselves and under duress, one of these witness admitted to having conferred with other witnesses and the accused Ulrich M in the court building on that very same morning. When asked by Regina Goetz what happened after the fire brigade had left the scene, M replied “Nothing, we went back out on patrol.” Goetz ‘s next challenge searched for the answer to the question that most of the back rows of the public gallery were asking themselves; “You didn’t ask yourself if there might still be somebody chained-up in a cell down there? You didn’t wonder if that person was still alive?”
This and numerous other examples illustrated a bureaucratic anaesthesia where rules and regulations sedate any feelings of compassion and render the subject numb to the unwritten moral obligations that the position of police officer bestows upon them.
Questions of legality – arrest and restraint
Udo S’s testimony raised pivotal questions surrounding the legality of Oury Jalloh’s arrest and the subsequent restraint techniques employed at the police station. Regarding the arrest the court heard from the original statement how Udo S had not formally and courteously introduced himself to Oury Jalloh at the scene of arrest and how he had not made any attempt to explain what he wanted from him and why. Upon approaching Oury Jalloh Udo S, in his own words, simply barked “Ausweis!” maintaining that a polite introduction wasn’t necessary as “he would have recognised me as a police officer because of my uniform”. For Udo S everything was seemingly routine – in his opinion an offence had been committed and that was adequate grounds for an arrest. However, when pressed by Ulrich von Klingräff as to the exact legal basis for arrest and the necessity of taking Oury Jalloh to the police station in order to verify his identity Udo S began struggling to find a legal clause that would justify the decision to arrest. Indeed when von Klingräff put it to him that detention for the purpose of an identity check would only be legal if an identifiable offence (which the lawyer, in his wisdom, could not establish) had been committed Udo S floundered helplessly. Embarrassment turned to desperation when the lawyer asked him why he had not considered other alternatives such as issuing a Platzverweis or even escorting Oury Jalloh home. The witness’ bewilderment at such questions supports the theory that the way the engagement between the officer and the “suspect” was indeed a case of race politics at work.
Arguably the most contentious issue regarding police practice in this case is the question of restraint or indeed the incapacity of the officers to apply sound judgement
in recognising the disproportionate nature of this type of treatment. As if the inhuman restraint techniques were not enough, cell checks were not as frequent as the regulations stipulated, there was no direct supervision neither inside the cell nor from the corridor of the custody area. The inherent risks of the physical restraint of a person who is drunk and who risks vomiting at any given moment are self-evident, cell checks were at times 45 minutes apart and the danger of choking very real. It should also be noted that Oury Jalloh would not have been able to independently make use of the toilet in the cell which could be the explanation for a pool of liquid on the cell floor which was sighted by one of the officers. Such disregard for a persons basic rights and personal safety can surely not be defensible.
Remorse : why me, why us?
At the initiation of proceedings Sch. made a disingenuous attempt to preempt the outrage that the transcript of his telephone exchange with Andres Bl would inevitably cause, by saying that it had been misconstrued i.e. it had no racist undertones. This was done with an apology to the court in which he expressed regret that he was not able to save Oury Jalloh’s life. Listening with an open mind, there was nothing in the tone of voice or mannerisms that would give anyone grounds to disbelieve Sch. the expression of regret was delivered with ostensible sincerity. Only once the transcript had been read and the contemptuous utterances made throughout his testimony did the incredulity of the apology become clear, in turn betraying a remorse which was obviously very shallow.
Any feelings of sympathy with the police witnesses dissipated after Jürgen S gave his account of a conversation between himself and Sch. as he arrived back on the courtyard of the police station to find smoke billowing out of the basement and his colleagues covered in soot and coughing; “Oh no, not again, are we cursed? Why does this always happen to us?” This sentiment clearly demonstrates that of the remorse shown by any of the police officers for the loss of a person’s life their feelings are not of those of regret, rather they express self-pity and annoyance that this event would cause them great difficulty both as individuals and as a public body. Such limited contrition was noted in almost every police witness, consistent with this self-absorption, Hans-Jürgen B’s comment that the events of January 7, 2005 have never been come to terms with or reconciled by means of therapy (indeed none was offered) suggests a suppression of any guilt or ruefulness, not to mention any admission of wrongdoing.
Whichever hypothetical version of events one subscribes to, on paper the Oury Jalloh case is almost reminiscent of a film script in its uniqueness. No other example from the UK or Germany parallels the absurd string of improbabilities which saw a young man burn to death on the very mattress he was lying on whilst in the care of the state. The death of a young African asylum seeker and a homeless man before him has left a vacuum to be filled with speculation, a vacuum where so little is credible yet everything is possible. But the uniqueness of Oury Jalloh’s death is, arguably, the result of another vacuum – the absence of legal instruments which provide communities with mechanisms for holding statutory agencies to account. The discourse in the trial has so far centred upon regulations – fire regulations, regulations for the restraint of detainees, regulations for supervision of intoxicated prisoners, guidelines for arrest etc. etc. etc. However all of these regulations are obviously institutional tools for “internal consumption” and, in this case, are only being referred to in the aftermath of a tragedy where blame must be apportioned or a defence constructed. The outcome of this trial has the potential to be a landmark case which could do for the treatment of racist crimes and discrimination in Germany what the Lawrence report did for legislation governing statutory agencies and community relations in the UK. Certainly instruments like the Race Relations Amendment Act of 2000 and other legal instruments which stem from the Lawrence enquiry give communities some degree of leverage when dealing with poor service provision or hostile practices in statutory bodies. However cynical it may sound I remain unconvinced that a guilty verdict will lead to a humanist reappraisal by the police, other statutory agencies and society at large of the treatment of the thousands of Oury Jallohs and Mario Bichtemanns who still live with the day-to-day tyranny of perennial suspicion, “stop and search”, and police brutality. The only means to instate meaningful change in the treatment of these social groups is to implement a transparent framework of accountability in which every police officer, housing officer, social landlord, council worker, teacher must fear for their job if this code is breached. In Oury Jalloh’s case questions of accountability have come much too late and the challenge now is how can a single public legal instrument be developed, that doesn’t collect dust on the shelves of high-ranking bureaucrats but becomes common property? With such a framework in place one would hope that future cases of such gross negligence and malpractice could be combated at a much earlier stage and with a broader influence to situate responsibility directly with individuals.

"Death in Cell #5 "
Rec. 4-2-07

1) 1:36 Radio essay Mp3

Death in Cell #5
[Column written 4/3/07] © 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal
A Sierra Leonean refugee named Oury Jalloh burned to death in Cell No. 5 in the city of Dessau, Germany.
The date: January 7, 2005
Police at the station have called it a simple case of suicide.
His friends and fellows have raised serious and disturbing questions, such as: how do you tie your hands and feet, and burn yourself to death?
Since that day to this, friends of Jalloh and anti-racist organizers have been trying to build a movement against racist violence, often perpetrated by the State, especially against African refugees like Oury Jalloh.
Jalloh was 21 years old.
His case has raised that of similar incidents, of clashes between Black immigrants, and the German police. Like that of Dominique Kuomadio, another African refugee, who was shot and killed by German police on April 14, 2006.
When the German General Public Prosecutor was given the case, the conclusion was all but pre-ordained: self-defense.
Anti-racist Germans and refugee support groups there have organized to demand and fund an x-ray of Oury Jalloh’s corpse. This x-ray found that he suffered a broken nose, and serious trauma to his middle ear.
Earlier requests for such an examination were turned down by the State Prosecutor—who said it wasn’t necessary.
And while the cops who may’ve murdered—burned to death—a Black immigrant in a holding cell, face an almost certain impunity, activists who have spoken out against the cops are being sued now for libel and defamation.
Remember Oury Jalloh!
For more information, please contact:

Statement of Solidarity to the Family and Friends of Oury Jalloh from MIGRANTE Europe in Amsterdam
Submitted by voice on Mon, 23/04/2007 - 17:57.
Statement of Solidarity to the Family and Friends of Oury Jalloh from MIGRANTE Europe in Amsterdam
MIGRANTE Europe joins the family and friends of Oury Jalloh in seeking justice for his brutal death in the hands of the German police.
We express our strongest solidarity to our fellow migrants, refugees and advocates in Caravan, who have pursued justice for Oury Jalloh.
What happened to Oury Jalloh is not isolated. The brutality of the police and state fascism are being repeated in countless other similar cases involving migrants, refugees and the state forces in Europe.
Indeed, we must “break the silence” and let the peoples of Europe and beyond know what is happening inside “fortress” Europe. Racism, xenophobia, discrimination and “blacklisting” have become a common and regular practice of many European Union states and the media and politicians make it appear to be normal and thus acceptable.
Fundamental human rights are being trampled upon in the name of big business interests and the so-called war on terrorism. And its first victims are the migrants, refugees and peoples of color.
Indeed, it is up to us – migrants, refugees and peoples of color – to fight and resist, and to build a strong solidarity among the peoples of Europe against the further violations of our political, economic, civil, social and cultural rights.
We join our friends and fellow migrants and refugees in Germany in demanding justice for Oury Jalloh. While we demand that those responsible for his brutal death be punished, we also ask friends and advocates not only in Germany, but also in other European Union states, to oppose laws and other legal measures to further institutionalize racism, fascism, xenophobia, discrimination and the arbitrary “blacklisting” of anyone in
furtherance of the so-called war on terror.###
Long live international solidarity! Justice for Oury Jalloh!
23 April 2007
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I hadn't realized that they even took away our right to call the most gigantic deportation in the history of humanity by its name. And that only because the slave traders, their descendants and their historians neither at that time nor at the present day used the word deportation or authorised its use to describe their practices.
Rosa Amelia Plumelle-Uribe
The Persecution of a Word
Those familiar with the brutality and horror of the apartheid regime can picture all too well the scenario: a Black man is tied at his hands and feet to a fireproof mattress in a holding cell at a police station. Hours later the man is dead, his body burnt like charcoal, the upper regions of his fingers burnt completely away. The official thesis: suicide.
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh, a human being converted into an eternal refugee, died under exactly these conditions in the city of Dessau, Germany. On that very same day the life of another African was extinguished: Layé Konde, who ten days before had chemicals forced down his throat by the police who were looking for possible drugs, had his life taken from him after not coming out of the coma induced by the police action. The number of police sentenced for the two deaths until today: 0.
Since that time, diverse refugee, migrant and anti-racist organizations have joined together to fight for truth, justice and restitutions. Under the slogan OURY JALLOH DAS WAR MORD, we organized ourselves in the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
Our words, however, provoke fear and subsequent persecution on the part of the authorities. According to their logic, without knowing the exact incidents surrounding the events of the 7th of January, it is not a crime to describe the death of Oury Jalloh as self-murder (i.e. suicide), but it is a crime to describe it as a murder.
The power of language, the power of definition is decisive and a fundamental pillar of totalitarian—and colonial—power. It is used to silence opposition and to maintain hegemony over words and thoughts.
We must, however, never forget what past experiences have taught us; how often and ruthlessly genocide was committed so that all traces of the truth would be eliminated together with its victims, such as happened in Europe during the time of Nazi terror and with the separation of mothers from their children during the time of slavery, for example.
But, as the executioners, their descendants and their historians have been forced to repeatedly recognize: no matter how many are killed, no matter how far those in power are willing to go in order to fulfill their objectives, you can never eliminate a collective memory—and no oppression can last forever.
Selective Memory and the Non-Persecution of the Truth
That Justice is a blind goddess
is a thing to which we Blacks are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
that once perhaps were eyes
Aimé Césaire
On the 27th of March, 2007, court proceedings finally began against two of the police officers implicated in the death of Oury Jalloh. Andreas Schubert and Hans-Ulrich März have been accused of negligence in the death of Oury Jalloh. Within the formal accusation presented by the state prosecutor—the only entity allowed to formulate such an accusation in Germany—neither racism nor any other possible cause of death play a role other than the official version: suicide. Likewise, the broken nose and broken middle-ear discovered in the second, independently financed autopsy, are not considered within the trial-based evidence permitted by the court (in other words, these facts are not even considered when the judge is to make his decision).
Until now, the trial has been nothing more than a confirmation of our deepest mistrust. For over two years we have consistently denounced the cover-up and the intentional attempt to win time. As expected, every single police officer or related state employee who has been called as a witness has shown remarkable coincidences between each other: all of them have a perfect memory—except that which involves the death of Oury Jalloh. There is, however, one exception: all seem to remember clearly that Andreas Schubert, accused of negligence for not having reacted in time, was swift in his response of running down into the basement, where Oury Jalloh had been chained down—and burnt to death—to a fireproof mattress.
The issue of racism, however, has remained just as absent from the trial as has any word of truth spoken on the part of the police. On only two occasions was racism made an issue: Once, as an African man was forced out of the courtroom for shouting „What have we ever done to you to deserve this,“ as the racist protocol between Andreas Schubert and the doctor who ordered Oury Jalloh to be chained, Dr. Blödau, was read aloud, and, secondly, as an African man was ordered by the judge to sit as the accused and apologize for his behavior or be accused of allegedly having offended a Nazi-party member.
Additionally, at the middle of May a scandal appeared (and disappeared just as quickly) in the national media: Hans-Christoph Glombitza, acting vice-director of the police in Dessau, was recorded in a conversation with members of the German state security office in which he said, referring to crimes committed by right-wing extremists, that, “one doesn't have to see everything.”
Adding that the federal government programs to combat Nazi crimes and thought were, “really just for the art galleries anyway,” he pointed out that there are ways “to write reports slowly.” Citing a lack of evidence of a crime having been committed, the leading state prosecutor in Dessau, Volker Bittermann, has already refused to open investigations.
For their part, the police have seen the trial as an opportunity to intimidate and persecute members of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh. At least one hundred police—including dogs—have been set to surround and occupy the court inside and out.
Activists have not only been subject to massive security controls and the photocopying of their identity papers, but also direct persecution, as described above. Additionally, civil-clothed police have tried to control and intimidate members of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
Why we must fight—not just protest or question
My tongue shall serve those miseries which
have no tongue, my voice the liberty of those
who found themselves in the dungeons of despair.
Aimé Césaire
We have neither deceased in our struggle for truth and justice nor in the conviction that only we will decide which words we will use. The fight for truth and justice in the case of Oury Jalloh—like that of Dominique Koumadio, shot to death by the police in Dortmund on April 14, 2006—is a question of survival. The arrogance and lack of human understanding—especially toward non-whites—within the police is exactly that which permits Oury Jalloh to die in such a vile manner. Moreover, the fact that it is so systematic and historic is one of the many reasons why we have and will continue to speak of murder.
This goes far beyond a question of simple protest or questioning official versions of Oury's, Laye's or Dominique's deaths. On the contrary, it is as much a question of self-determination as it is the rage against so much perpetual brutality.
We cannot and will not let ourselves to continue functioning within this murderous normality, accomplices of our own death and persecution. By refusing to speak out and by silencing our own beliefs, we are only contributing further to the duration of our common suffering.
We refuse. We refuse to obey. We refuse to continue being a part of our own oppression. We refuse to remain silent, much less be silenced. That time is over.

Press Release: Demonstration in Dessau In Memory of Oury Jalloh and Dominique Koumadio
Submitted by voice on Fri, 22/06/2007 - 12:20.
Police Brutality
Deutsch: Presseerklärung: Demonstration in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh und Dominique Koumadio in Dessau
Kontakt:Tel.: +49-1708788124 ;
Press Release
The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh is calling for a nationwide demonstration in memory of Oury Jalloh. Said demonstration will be take place on June 23, 2007, in Dessau. Meeting point is 1pm at the central train station. The demonstration will begin one hour later and pass through the center of the city as well as the monument in memory of Alberto Adriano and the police station in the Wolfgangstrasse. Several hundred protestors are expected.
Additionally, the Initative in Memory of Oury Jalloh will be holding a press conference at 1pm outside the central train station. The demonstration is being organised in response to the alarming developments of the court proceedings surrounding the death of the 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone/Guinea as well as diverse attacks against the Initiative itself.
In light of these developments, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh declares the following:
Those familiar with the brutality of the South African Apartheid regime can only imagine this situation all too well: a human being is chained at his hands and feet to fireproof mattress. Hours later, the man is dead, his body fully charcoaled, the upper parts of his fingers completely burned off. The official hypothesis: suicide.
On January 7, 2005, Oury Jalloh—a human being converted in life and death into an eternal refugee—died under exactly these circumstances in a police holding cell in Dessau, Germany. This happened on the very same day that the police in Germany took away the life of another African:
Layé Konde, whom ten days before went into a coma after the police had forced vomit-inducing chemicals down his throat, also perished on January 7, 2005. Until today, not one single police officer has been charged for these crimes.
From our point of view, the sequence of events only permits one possible hypothesis: Oury Jalloh was murdered. Since organising ourselves in the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh we have consistently insisted on the fact that the death of Oury Jalloh will remain a murder so long as the responsible authorities do not thoroughly clear up the events surrounding Oury's death. From the very beginning, the state prosecutor in Dessau only allowed one line of investigation, i.e. suicide. Yet in spite of all facts widely made available to the public, for instance that he was chained to a fireproof mattress, that a lighter only appears in a second inventory of the items found in the cell, that the broken nose was only discovered in the second, independently financed autopsy, etc., etc., the police, the court and even the media only allow one line of thought: Oury Jalloh killed himself.
The current court proceedings in the case of Oury Jalloh only serve to confirm our concerns regarding the cover-up of the case which lasted over two years. From the very first day, the trial has been characterised by a penetrating non-remembrance and selective knowledge of details on the part of the accused and witnesses alike—all of whom are from the police. Moreover, although there is more than enough evidence available to include a critical observation regarding the racism surrounding Oury's death and the entire process in and of itself, until now the issue of racism has been completely excluded from all investigations and subsequent proceedings. Instead, all efforts are being made to "prove" that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire.
Rather than pursue the truth, the authorities are instead bent on persecuting activists of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, against whom a series of investigations and preliminary proceedings are being launched, among other excuses because of libel. This is because we openly voice our opinion: it was murder. Activists are even persecuted
and threatened by the police within the courtroom itself. Further, at one of the vigils organized outside of the court, an attack was once again made against our freedom of speech in which a banner was forcefully removed by the police. The reason? It contained an illustration of a lighter and underneath it the words: OURY JALLOH WAS MURDERED!
In addition, Mouctar Bah, the former owner of a Telecafé in Dessau and international representative of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, is once again receiving serious and diverse threats. Already on February 7, 2006, the city authorities closed down his store and expropriated his commercial license. The justification? Mouctar allegedly had not done enough to keep the so-called drug dealers off the street where his Telecafé was located. Subsequently, he was forced to sell his shop to a German, for whom he now works as an employee. Currently, the new owner is being threatened with the closure of the Telecafé. The official justification? Mouctar Bah is still working there.
As if the persecution Mouctar Bah has suffered from the authorities is not enough, some take up where others leave off. In the night of May 14, 2007, unknown persons painted swastikas and nazi symbols on the monument in memory of the deported Jews and the destruction of the synagogue as well as Mouctar's former Telecafé, among other sites. Mouctar has also been physically attacked on more than one occassion. These attacks against Mouctar and the Initiative must be seen within the context of the recent racist attacks in Halberstadt, Cottbus and Bemberg and the reaction of the local police to them.
In spite of all these very alarming developments, certain, organized nazis are still allowed to attend the trial against the police in Dessau as so-called "normal" observers and to write viciously racist reports. In addition to all that mentioned above comes another shocking detail concerning the Vice-Director of the police in Dessau, Hans-Christoph Glombitza: three secret agents normally employed in investigating crimes
of right-wing extremism have sworn under oath that Mr. Glombitza, in his function as acting director of the police, has actually tried to impede the persecution of fascist crimes. They quote him as saying that, "one doesn't have to see everything," and that, "there are ways to write reports more slowly." Regarding programmes of the federal government to combat right-wing extremism, Glombitza is reported to have said that,"they are only for show anyway." Nevertheless, according to Wolfgang Böhmer, Interior Minister of Sachsen-Anhalt, "The accusation has been disproved. We now know that there were rather personal conflicts behind all of this."
And thus the vicious circle continues its barbaric cycle: cover-up, fraud, deception, deceit, delay and then forgetting. In this sense, we are by no means surprised by the fact that the demand of the family of Oury Jalloh's legal counsel to begin preliminary proceedings against Dr. Blödau have been openly rejected by the state prosecutor. Dr, Blödau, who became famous thanks to his extremely racist and vile comments about Blacks, was the person who took blood from Oury and ordered him to be chained at his hands and feet. He was also involved in declaring Mario Bichtermann, the homeless man who died or was possibly murdered in the same cell in November, 2002, fit for detention. The investigations against those responsible for the death of Mario Bichtermann? Closed.The case? Unresolved.
Several weeks ago, Rosa Amelia Plumelle-Uribe, one of the international delegates invited by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh to assist the trial, made the following comment: "The court faces the decision of having to condemn and distance itself from the racist conduct of the police or to excuse it and support it." In our opinion, the same is true for the media as well as the political parties and the society as a whole.
At the demonstration, the Initiative will also be honouring Layé Konde (Sierra Leone), who—as mentioned above—was murdered on the same day as Oury. Additionally, we will also be remembering Dominique Koumadio (Congo), who was shot to death by the police on April 14, 2006 in the city of Dortmund, John Achidi (Nigeria/Camerun), who also lost his life
after the police in Hamburg forced vomit-inducing chemicals down his throat in 2001 as well as Osamuyia Aikpitanhi (Nigeria). Osamuyia died on June 9, 2007 died during a deportation attempt in Spain while tied at his hands and feet and a rag stuffed down his throat and covered over with tape. According to the police, Osamuyia Aikpitanhi committed suicide.
We call on all people of solidarity to join us in Dessau and to participate in our demonstration in memory of Oury Jalloh. Furthermore, in light of the increasing attacks and attempts at criminalisation, we call on the media to be aware and to cover the demonstration and especially the further developments of the case.

*REMEMBERANCE FOR OURY JALLOH: Regina Kiwanuka Report On Dessau Demonstration - Part 1
The Demonstration that moved Dessau Protesting the injustice that has consistently befallen the African people over the centuries
The tears of more than 150 people over the terrifying death of Oury Jalloh poured in the city of Dessau on Saturday 23 June 2007 when heavy rains and thunder joined in the struggle to demand justice for the black man.>>>>>
At exactly 14hrs people from different cities in Germany and of different nationalities gathered at the front of the main train station in Dessau to once again protest against the appalling events surrounding Oury Jalloh's untimely shocking death.
Oury Jalloh a 23year old young man from Sierra Leone died on 7 January 2005 in a police cell in the basement in Dessau, following his unnecessary brutal arrest by two police officers Mr. Schneider and Mr. Maerz. Reason for his arrest?? Identity verification. In spite of the fact that the police were aware of Mr. Jalloh's valid and legal status here in Germany. He was nevertheless forced into the police car by officer Schneider who illustrated the events of that fateful arrest in court during the week of 27 March 2007, and that was the last interaction for Oury Jalloh with the outside world . Undressed of all Human Rights and dignity, Jalloh was handcuffed and forcefully ushered into the deadly police station and mercilessly delivered to the police chief Mr. Schubert.
Mr. Schubert in turn racially mocked and rebuked Oury Jalloh's status on the telephone with Dr. Bloedau following Dr. Bloedau's complaints of difficulties in tracing veins from the black skin, having been requested to check Jalloh's medical status by the police. Mr. Schubert's mocking advice to Dr. Bloedau was to "carry along a tube" with jeering laughter at the black African as he was termed.
In his opening remarks and details that moved the crowd, Mr. Yufanyi Mbolo began with the agonies and challenges that surrounded the predicament of Jalloh's death. He reminded everyone that on the oders of Dr. Bloedau, Oury Jalloh was tightly fixed on a fireproof mattress on the floor heavily chained both at his hands and feet and then blazenly and heartlessly burned to death in the custody of the police officers.
He continued with how the death procedure was reiterated in court that week of 27 March 2007 by the two officers M and Schn. who were responsible for Oury Jalloh's arrest, conducted the grievous bodily harm of tightening his body in a constrained and despicable manner, then left him in the basement for dead.
Mr. Yufanyi continued that a person heavily chained to that extent and the police's intentions to fool the world into a suicidal death, because Oury Jalloh can no longer speak for himself is abominable, vehemently disputed by the African community, the Human Rights activists and all members of the community who hold the well being of humanity at heart. And the sole reason for today's demonstration.
He continued that many of us have witnessed the Oury Jalloh's process in the Honourable court in Dessau and we have seen how the case is being run off - course by the Honourable court criminalizing Oury Jalloh as unfit in society, in the eyes of the press, the various organisations that attended court, his friends and sympathisers and in particular his mother and brother who travelled all the way from Guinea to witness the horrible events that stole their loved one and a born and bred African national.
The fact that all police officers obstructed justice in court by denying events, dates and crucial details in respect with the case, conferring with one another in the course of the trial and trying to unsuccessfully cover it up, and that the Honourable court seems to follow suit by tolerating the lies, the contortion and destruction of the police is representation that the judicial is not independent. And that if we do not come out stronger each day and portray the whole controversial suspected murder of one of our own to the whole world, the whole incident might just be turned into a family feud right under our noses and we shall be faced with worse grievous challenges in future as a black people in the Diaspora and at home.
Yufanyi reiterated that we are all Oury Jalloh, let not any one of us make a mistake to identify him or herself as an individual in the eyes of these people. To them we are like flies one can never differentiate a female from a male. So whichever land that you may belong to in our dear African continent, here we are one and the same,
Oury Jalloh is us and we are Oury Jalloh.
With that in mind Yufanyi maintained that we should not only look at it as a demonstration event in Dessau, rather wherever you live in Germany continue to declare and pronounce the facts surrounding Oury Jalloh's terrifying death and the course the court is embarked on to see to the freedom of its people when we are always left for dead, criminalised and grievously punished with severe penalties no matter how insignificant the impact of the offence. And that Dr. Bloedau should never be let off scot free. A person who has practised medicine for years and has vowed to save lives rather on this occasion gave a directive for Oury Jalloh's fixation and detention. Whether it was a conspiracy with the police, Dr. Bloedau must be brought to justice, if not, let us fight to bring justice to him.
With those words the procession began its journey once again marching steadily through the now infamous city of Dessau. People from Bochum, Jena, Frankfurt, Goettingen, Berlin, Billefeld, Nuremberg, Duesseldorf, Dortmund and many more continued pouring in and no sooner did the March begin than the massive rains that powered immediately accompanied by heavy rocking winds as if to blow off the ghastly uncleansed airs of injustice surrounding the city of Dessau.
Tears of sorrow and torture of the African people continued pouring when the people braved the heavy rains and continued with the slogan of "Oury Jalloh -- Das was Mord, Oury Jalloh -- Das war Mord" ( "Oury Jalloh -- that was murder") over and over again, oblivious to the deep paddles that formed all over the streets right straight into their shoes, oblivious to the body soaking cold and uninterrupted waters falling from above. As if a humongous tap was continuously opened in anger and in determination to portray and protest against the injustice that has befallen the black people since Africa was invaded many centuries back.
The procession continued once again to where Alberto Adriano met his fateful end, beaten to death by racist extremists in the centre of Dessau where people held a one minute silence and sung in remembrance of another innocent brother whose only crime like all the others was the colour of his skin.
The microphone never rested in spite of the heavy pouring waters people continued to proclaim the obstruction of justice, the conspiracy surrounding the deaths of Africans in Germany. They continued that no matter the viciousness and the continuation of the modernised slave trade and modernised colonialism of the determined aggressors, the African community vowed that it is equally to the task of defending and fighting for its existence and the freedom of the mother continent AFRICA.
We reject to continue living in deception of the organised international community disguised in terms of global funding as in development Aid handed down to the African dictators who in turn transform its peoples into refugees all over the world. Only to get burned alive in the basement in police cells in Dessau, shot at point blank by the same police officers of the aggressors in the middle of the streets as Dominique Koumadio in Dortmund, discriminated against to meet their fateful deaths in various ways under the hands of the people alleging development Aid which in reality is advanced or modernised colonialism.
The procession continued without much threatening incidents from the Dessau residents or the police though some people raised their windows shut, others waved the German flag through their windows in retaliation, portraying ignorance and lack of knowledge that it is indeed the aggressors who invaded Africa and triggered the dispersion of the African peopel from its peaceful mother continent.
The number of the police force was increased this time, their vehicles were countless and the dark green uniforms were spotted all over the city. Although some on motorbikes soaked wet like the rest of the other human beings, many of the police ducked straight into their vehicles to avoid getting soaked. As if these heavenly waters would ever come anywhere close in comparison to the fires of hell in the basement of the police station in this city Dessau on 7 January 2005. Or any other atrocities befalling the African person around the globe. The sun had long returned to dry up the soaked bodies and a whole good hour was once again spent on those last fateful steps that saw Oury Jalloh to his towering inferno in the police station.
Flowers were laid on the steps as a sign of agony, remembrance and peace for the rested soul. Another one minute silence was also observed for Mario Bichtermann who died in the same cell in the basement in November 2002.
Dominik Kuomadio 23yrs (Kongo) who was shot to death on 14 April 2006 in the streets of Dortmund by the police, Laye Konde who was killed again by police brutality in Bremen on the same day that Jalloh was also burned. John Achidi (Nigeria/Cameroon), killed in Hamburg, Osamuyi (Nigeria) our recent shock from Spain killed again by the Spanish police in a deportation attempt representing the conspiracy of the white people to finish off the Africans. All their souls were remembered and grieved for.
The residents in Dessau were more alert this time and many onlookers followed and gaped at the moving procession. The press and the reporters were not intimidated by the heavy thunder, cameras kept rolling all through the rain.
The procession returned peacefully to its original spot at the main train station Dessau at exactly 17hrs and concluded with more loud voices of solidarity and togetherness to save the African continent from perishing. SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON.
Compiled by Regina Kiwanuka from (Uganda) and proud to be an African.
Part ll
In the aftermath of the demonstration for Oury Jalloh in Dessau on Saturday 23 June 2007;
We shall not tire, we must continue to stand and raise our voices against the attack on humanity.
Let not the people interpret demonstrations as the means only to tackle these grievous violations against humanity. Let the demonstrations represent the beginning and creating of awareness among ourselves, our blindfolded brothers and sisters all over the world, in the African continent and in particular those in the Diaspora who are holding citizenship of the western world, holding travel documents, producing children and transforming all this into weapons to defend themselves against the worldwide attack to humanity.
This will not realise deliverance from the aggressors:
Do not wait to be affected only when your family is attacked. We are falling in the traps of the aggressors. They separated and divided us against our will and consent the day they called the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 to partition and share the African continent right here in Germany. This has operated for centuries, it is transparently corroborated through the African dictators of today. They have sold our conscience and are bent to the egoism of the aggressors and we have continued to abandon our continent to save ourselves. We are Oblivious of our brothers and sisters enduring the fires of hell in the heart of Africa, forgetting the whole meaning and existence of the African continent.
Let the demonstrations represent a wake up call to uproot the base and the ground for our relocation from Africa and the barbarism against the black person, rather than focusing on the symptoms of why the system hate us so much and why the police in the Diaspora is bent on killing a black person in the name of deportation and criminalisation.
This is represented in the manner and the effrontery of the police witnessed by many on the grounds outside the court in Dessau during the Oury Jalloh trial, when the police distracted the process and concentrated on attacking the peaceful witnesses of the trial outside court holding banners displaying the picture of a fire lighter that sparked off the horrible fires that burnt Oury Jalloh alive in police custody, the banners with inscriptions that " Oury Jalloh was murdered". These are only banners representing our freedom of speech, the word is already dispersed that Oury Jalloh died in police custody and with a fire lighter. The police and the authorities should concentrate on the realism of peace and justice, and focus on the extent the judicial is prepared to excel to see to justice in respect to humanity, to prove its independence from the executives and the almighty aggressors who have suffocated the world and deprived it of its human rights and the breath of freedom.
The police should not reduce themselves so as to display fear of the word murder or should it be termed pretence. The word murder has not only existed but has been practiced in reality for centuries. It is not new and neither is it old. So the police should place their concentration on being proven innocent, rather than being thrown into a panic rage and demonstrate it by attacking innocent supporters of the Human Rights.
Letting loose of the organised crimes against the Human Rights and freedom fighters and turn a blind eye with statements like "one doesn’t have to see everything" and "there are ways to write reports more slowly- "they are only for show anyway", coming from a Chief police officer? This chief police officer made a call for other colleges to break the law and went unpunished while the criminalisation and charges against members of the Oury Jalloh Initiative goes unabated. This exhibits itself through our apparent systematic destruction, permitting of the racist extremists to attend the process in court and the closing down of the internet shop owned by an African in Dessau on 7 February 2006 under the guise of controlling drug trafficking and law breakers when it was to prevent the collective African voice in defence. And all the atrocities befalling the African people during the Oury Jalloh process in the name of keeping peace, asserting law adherence and preventing obstruction when it is the police that is obstructing justice in the Honourable court of law.
Failure to focus on Doctor Bloedau's competence who authorised Oury Jalloh's detention exposing him to the ferocious barbarism that resulted in his death.
All these will not divert the attention and the facts surrounding the terrible death of Oury Jalloh in police custody in Dessau. Nor will it weaken the gravity of the police bitterness and hatred towards the African people, again displayed when they ruthlessly strangled Osamuyia Aikpitanhi in Spain on 9 June 2007.
It should only portray the fact that the time has come for the police and their masters to come up clean and start exercising civilisation and the protection of the Human Rights in place of the atrocities towards the African people and towards humanity. For, their suicide justification has indeed run out of steam. It has come down from colonisation to suicide and self defence on the part of the aggressors.
The demonstrations and the banners are the only voice we have, to scoop up the enormity from the white side of the pacific directed to the black community, persistently upholding for centuries when indeed it was the African continent invaded and wronged.
To the Germans and other “western white constructs”, those Organisations, groups and political parties calling themselves progressive and humanists, mobilising in their thousands to speak for Africa in the G8 of the capitalists and imperialists ( known for Africa’s doom) in Heiligendamm: You cannot speak for Africa when black people are burnt to death in your police cell and you do nothing, when black people are exonerating and you cheer, when black people are fighting and you divide them. First take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the eyes of Africa. You are part of the problem when you pretend and dominate.
We therefore call upon all African People in their respective lands of exile and at home to focus on a strong strategy in defence against this attack on humanity and to the black people in particular to create an African conference to fight the dictators of today and to peacefully return the African continent into our hands.
Let us not let the Nkwame Nkurumas, the Lumumbas, the Sankaras and the Nelson Mandelas' mission and vision of an independent and a free African continent die in vain. Oury Jalloh's inferno is just the beginning and his spirit should stay within us to fight for his justice and ours.
We either unite and fight on or we stay divided and continue perishing. We have been enslaved, colonised and then made to feel morally and systematically guilty of our actions when we resist and fight oppression and persecution.
Compiled by Regina Kiwanuka on behalf of all the demonstrators on Saturday 23 June 2007 for the suffering children of Africa.

With this call we would like to invite all interested people to participate in the conferences in Berlin and Dessau as well as the demonstration in Dessau, all of which will be held in memory of Oury Jalloh, Layé Konde, Dominique Koumadio and all other victims of racist police brutality.
05 January 2008 - Memorial Conference in Berlin for the victims of racist police violence; 4 p.m., Mehringhof, Gneisenaustr. 2a, U6/U7 Mehringdamm
06 January 2008 – Black Africa Conference in Dessau; 12p.m., Beat Club
07 January 2008 - Demonstration in Dessau
For the 3rd anniversary of Oury Jalloh’s murder, 1 p.m.
Three years have now gone by since the German police murdered two Black-Africans. On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh and Layé Konde were killed by the police. One may ask the question, what crime might they have committed? The answer: fulfilling the image of an enemy to this society—being seen as both Black and “foreign.”
Like Oury Jalloh, Layé Konde, too, was forced to flee from his home in Guinea to seek refuge in Sierra Leone, before the war in the West African country once again converted both Oury and Layé into refugees for a second time. Both Oury and Layé found their way to Europe—to Germany—where they hoped for a life in dignity.
But what they found here was not paradise but rather hell on Earth:
police controls based on the color of their skin, a society that despises and rejects them, laws that completely restrict their freedom of movement to just a few kilometers, the permanent threat of deportation and all types of racist attacks all formed part of their everyday reality—that is until they were murdered.
But Oury and Layé were neither the first nor the last human beings who had their lives stolen away from them because of where they come from or the color of their skin. On April 14, 2006, for instance, with shots to the leg and directly to the heart, a police officer in the city of Dortmund shot and killed the 21 year-old Congolese Dominique Koumadio. They apparently found him dangerous because of the color of his skin. Another refugee, the 23 year-old Mohammed Selah, lost his life on January 14, 2007 in Remscheid, because the responsible authorities denied him the necessary medical treatment.
As almost always is the case in such tragedies, the truth is twisted and buried, justice is postponed indefinitely and inevitably denied, and evidence is falsified and “disappears.” Moreover, those who engage themselves in the struggle for truth and justice are the victims of character assassination and are also persecuted.
The case of Oury Jalloh has been no different. Nevertheless, one major aspect makes the case of Oury Jalloh stand out from the many, many others: thanks to the active engagement of a large number of people from throughout Germany—but first and foremost the refugees of Dessau themselves—the case of Oury Jalloh has not simply been forgotten and converted into just another number to be archived in some bureaucratic shelf.
In other words, contrary to what they might have expected, Oury Jalloh was not just another Black whose life was stolen away from him.
In part, this is because the struggle of so many people made it possible that court proceedings were opened up against two police officers. Moreover, thanks to numerous demonstrations and memorial events, the brutality of his murder was made known all over the world.
Nevertheless, as we have seen over and over again since court proceedings were opened in March of 2007, a public trial against the accused police officers does as much to uncover the truth surrounding Oury’s death as does the legal system serve justice. In other words, the tactics used by the authorities since Oury’s murder on January 7, 2005, have continued unabated: arrogance, cover-up, endless postponement and lie after lie after lie—without exception. And as if it weren’t enough that one witness after the other lies, blocks and covers up the truth, psychical evidence “disappears” in the hands of the police.
Yet there is more to this embarrassing show trial. The truth has been completely banned from the entire process altogether. This is not only because the police called by the court are consciously making a mockery of their obligation as witnesses to tell the truth, but primarily because racism and all circumstances relating to racism have absolutely no relevance for the High Court of Dessau.
Like the personal background of the principal accused, the racist comments made by the aforementioned Andreas Schubert to Dr. Bloedau, who took Oury Jalloh’s blood, have no importance for the court whatsoever. We shouldn’t forget that it was under the “supervision” of Andreas Schubert that the homeless man Mario Bichtermann lost his life in the same cell in which Oury Jalloh was murdered (the pre-investigations were closed without Andreas Schubert even having to respond for his actions). But in the case of Oury Jalloh, the court is indeed very interested in knowing how violent he was, how much he drank, if he was depressive, etc., etc. Yet on the other hand, the court also has no interest in examining the relationship in the city of Dessau between the police and those people from other continents who have been forced to live in the city due to the racist laws which restrict their movements. As such, the court also completely excludes the brutality, humiliations and racist repugnance the police have for migrants in general and Black-Africans in particular, all of whom are stigmatized, excluded and criminalized on a daily basis.
The persecution suffered by Oury’s friend and representative of the Jalloh family, Mouctar Bah—an activist and founder of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh—sheds much light on the type of scandalously negative image which exists of Blacks. Mouctar Bah has successfully run a Telecafé in Dessau for four years now. His Telecafé in Dessau quickly turned into the only place in the entire region where migrants and particularly Black-Africans—surrounded by a racist and unfriendly environment—could have a place to even breathe a little and feel a bit more secure. Yet (or better yet, therefore) the authorities took away his commercial license in 2006. As a result, Mouctar was forced to turn his store over to a German. The reason? The authorities had decided that Mouctar had not done enough to prevent drugs being sold… on the street. All other shops and institutions located on this street did not even receive a warning.
Now, over one year later, according to the law Mouctar has a right to recuperate his commercial license. Nevertheless, the prohibition imposed by the city of Dessau that Mouctar no longer carry out commercial activities in the city was upheld. The reason? Put briefly:
The Telecafé is primarily frequented by Black-Africans who go back and forth to the Telecafé on foot or on bicycle more than once a day (according to the city of Dessau, a clear sign they are dealing drugs). Moreover, according to the city of Dessau, they, the Black-Africans, are loud, urinate on the houses, use the street as a waste bin, are violent and, by frequenting Mouctar’s Telecafé in the city of Dessau located outside of their assigned districts, violate the laws restricting refugees’ freedom of movement.
As for Mouctar, who has twice been attacked by a known right-wing extremist (the same person who repeatedly calls the police because of noise, trash, urinating, etc.) in relation to the case of Oury Jalloh, the city of Dessau has the following words to say:
“A behavior which makes repeated police investigations necessary leads us to conclude—independently of the results of the investigations—that you are a person with serious deficiencies of character who obviously does not accept the societal norms of living together or the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Several neighbors, whom the city of Dessau cites to sustain their racist arguments, even wrote in a letter to the city administration that drug trafficking is predestined to take place when a Black-African is given permission to open such a shop.
Confronted with the constant and obvious lies of the Dessau police, in a very theatrical gesture Judge Steinhoff of the High Court of Dessau slammed his fist on the table and warned that Germany is no banana republic where police can simply unashamedly lie before the court, as they have been doing since March of this year. Nevertheless, since that time until today nothing has changed, and thanks to Judge Steinhoff the truth has been completely banned from the court proceedings. As it looks now, there is no hope that the trial will result in neither truth nor justice for the Jalloh family. Just as in the so-called banana republics, in which the impunity of the powerful is the norm and the people’s right to live has been and remains permanently banned, where people have no protection from the law and its enforcers but can only fear them, we can clearly see in the city of Dessau, in Germany as a whole and even Europe how precisely this system is the norm rather than the exception.
Nevertheless, such horrendous systems and their executioners can only survive so long as the people do not find the courage to stand up and look fear and those who perpetuate it directly in the eyes—with pride, dignity and without angst.
Three years have now gone by since Oury and Layé lost their lives.
Much has happened in this time. It would have been easy to give up, to remain silent, to wait for the court decision, to avoid the use of the word murder and much more. But we have refused to desist. We have refused because we are standing up side by side, one for the other; because this barbarity must be put to an end so that it does not continue as his has until now, from one generation to the next.
That’s why we have risen up. That’s why we will continue with our struggle until the very end.
We’re still here, we’re still furious and we still cry out:
We call on all to participate in our activities from the 5th to the 7th of January, 2008, in Berlin and in Dessau. Come and mobilize your friends and acquaintances. Let’s show those who brutalize us that we stand together, and that an attack against one is an attack against all of us.

Justice for Mouctar Bah – Fax Campaign against the city of Dessau-Roßlau

On the morning of 7th January 2005 Oury Jalloh, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone was arrested by the police and taken into custody. He was beaten, handcuffed and chained on hands and feet to the floor of a cell. Four hours later under unexplained circumstances, the completely tiled cell was on fire and it is still open how this could happen. Instead of helping Jalloh, the policemen on duty turned off the alarm three times.
He torturously burned. Since then friends of the West African refugee and antiracist initiatives in Germany are demanding “Clarification, Repatriation and Justice”. They formed “The Initiative in remembrance of Oury Jalloh”. Under the slogan “Oury Jalloh, it was murder!” they are organizing numerous demonstrations in Dessau and other cities.
The main person of the protests: Mouctar Bah, a friend of Oury Jalloh and former operator of an internet café in the town center of Dessau. Already in 2006 his license was taken away from him, with the argument that he had not reacted offensively enough towards drug dealers near his shop. Since then he is working as an employee in the internet café.
But this now is to be forbidden as well: because of supposedly complaints of neighbors about noise and dirt of his customers and also because he went against the requirements of the administrative order by having a “leading” position in the café, he should not be allowed to work there at all.
The State of Sachsen-Anhalt is trying with a campaign “Active against xenophobia” to represent itself positively in public. But as a refugee torturously and under unexplained circumstances burns in police custody, only a friend of the refugee who is also an African, could expose this in public. It was only then that the judiciary, due to pressure decided to investigate the incident.
Due to that, the State authorities want to revenge. Mouctar is now being forbidden to work in his telephone café, with implausible and racist justifications. Because of his active engagements against police violence, the State is destroying his means of existence.
We call on all to support Mouctar Bah!
Mouctar Bah opened his phone café four years ago in Dessau. It is one of the rare places in Dessau where African refugees can meet and feel safe. But after the death of Oury Jalloh he became object to the attention of the authorities. Under the pressure of the “Initiative Oury Jalloh”, which was founded by Bah, the prosecution office had to give out the burnt corpse of the dead refugee for a second and independent autopsy. Herein suddenly a broken nose was diagnosed, which was missed during the first round. In the documentation “Death in the Cell” of the TV-Channel WDR and also in interviews with other media representatives Bah doubts the explanations of the prosecution office about Jalloh’s death, which says that Oury Jalloh burnt himself, despite his being chained to the floor.
The authorities did not like him even before. Now for three years the Ordnungsamt (munipical department for public order, or the city’s regulatory agency) is trying to take away Mouctar Bah’s business license. The fact that people with black color had their meeting point at his shop seemed to be enough reason to argue that it was a drug trafficking spot.
But Mouctar Bah himself had reported drug dealers several times to the police. Nevertheless, he is being accused of having reported the dealers after knowing that the police had noticed them as well. That is the reason given by the court where Bah protested against the withdrawal of his license. The court confirmed the decision of the authorities from the year 2006. Mouctar Bah had to give up his shop but was again employed by the new owner of the café.
After one year he applied again for the allowance of a new license. The Ordnungsamt can only deny this if there are cogent arguments against him. The authorities think they found good reasons, why Mouctar Bah should not have the license, with following accusations:
1. Because he works on his own in the shop, he must have a ‘leading position’ breaking one of the pre-conditions to the new owner of the Café.
2. His customers would pollute the environment of the Café, urinate on the walls and produce a lot of noise.
3. The drug dealing was continued.
4. According to police observation, especially Africans would visit the shop, leave it and return “several times a day (…) either by foot or with a bicycle”.
5. Some of the visitors of the Café had left their administrative districts without permission and broken the law of residency restriction.
The Ordnungsamt also points at four complaints, which were put against Bah. Two of them were by the same neighbor of the café, to whom the presence of the Africans in that area is like a “torn in the eye”. The well known right wing neighbor has insulted Bah several times in front of the Café. Twice he even hit Mouctar Bah – the second time Bah defended himself and the neighbor had to be treated by the doctor. Out of revenge he twice, filed complaints of body injury against Mouctar to the police.
In the first case, Bah was found not guilty by the judge, who saw Bah to be the victim. The second case is still on. The third charge is from a policeman, who felt insulted by Bah during the court case against his colleagues charged because of the dead of Oury Jalloh. The fourth case was finally stopped by the prosecution office a long time ago.
The simple fact that someone has filed charges to the police against Bah means to the Ordnungsamt that Bah has “great character deficiency”. Nevertheless, the Ordnungsamt declares: “A behavior, which repeatedly needs police investigation, independent of the results shows great character deficiency of the person and a lack of acceptance of the norms of living together in the society and of the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany”.
The simple fact, that there were filed charges against Bah, independent of the results of investigations, seems to be enough to prove “great character deficiency”. This shows how the Ordnungsamt strongly wishes to discredit Bah. Mouctar Bah is held responsible for the behavior of his customers, who are under surveillance by the police due to their color of skin and their status. That he was taking care of the cleaning of the area and of the activities of his customers is being interpreted as “cognizance”. The fact that Bah reported to the police about drug dealing means to the administration that he had knowledge about drug dealing before and did nothing against it.
The phone Café is even supposed to have provoked the activities of his customers: “There are no doubts that the incidents on the Friedrich-Naumann-Street only happened because of the existence of the shop with telecommunication services and your (Mouctar Bah) operational readiness.”
Since March 2007 two policemen are being tried in court because of the death of Oury Jalloh. A clarification about the circumstances of death is not in sight – because the colleagues keep silent.
Meanwhile the police and the town of Dessau have become known for their friendly association with far right activities and are now trying to produce another picture in the public. But if it is about Non-Germans and especially blacks, then they still can unapologetically continue with their disrespect and discrimination – the bureaucratic means are at their disposal.
What exactly the “acceptance of the norms of the society to live together and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany” means, seems to be under the definition power of the administration, which also has the power to enforce the definition.
Everyday people of color are affected by this definition – in the streets, as well as behind the walls of police offices.
Years have gone by, with Mouctar Bah resisting the efforts of the authorities to take away his means of existence in this town. Since the death of Oury Jalloh this pressure has considerably increased.
The Dessau administration has relied on their experience in the past that also in this case too, this could happen without publicity and hoped to continue in their administrative manner, the exclusion of refugees and migrants. They should not be allowed to succeed!
This is why we demand a broad solidarity with Mouctar Bah. Please take part in the fax campaign against the city administration of Dessau.
For more information:
Contact: +49( 0) 160/95796679
The Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants
The Initiative in remembrance of Oury Jalloh
Fax-Action in support of Mouctar Bah
(Place and date)
Stadt Dessau-Roßlau
Amt für Ordnung und Verkehr
C/o Frau Lindner
per Fax: 03 40.20 4-29 36
Stop the revocation Mouctar Bah’s business license
Ladies and gentlemen,
I strongly protest against the revocation of the business license of Mouctar Bah and demand that you allow Mr. Bah to continue running his telephone Café in future.
Best regards,
Please also send a copy of the fax to:
The Initiative in remembrance of Oury Jalloh in Dessau

A statement of the ‘Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh’: One, Two or No Lighter at All? Devious Constructions - Made in Germany
Submitted by voice on Thu, 08/11/2007 - 20:16.
Police Brutality
A statement of the ‘Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh’.
One, Two or No Lighter at All? Devious Constructions - Made in Germany
Berlin, November 1, 2007
To the national and international public:
Since the end of March 2007 a trial has been held at the Landgericht (District Court) in Dessau. Accused are two policemen of the city of Dessau. The main accused, Andreas Schubert, is blamed for "bodily injury resulting to death". The second accused, Hans- Jürgen März, is blamed for "manslaughter" in the case of the burning to death of Oury Jalloh. On 9th October 2007, the 27th day of the trial, Peter K., a member of the staff of the Landeskriminalamt (Department of Criminal Investigations) of Sachsen-Anhalt testified before the court. The fire expert testified that he was present as expert in the "discovery" of the lighter. His testimony strengthens the worst fears. Also on the 25th of October, the 28th day of trial, it became known that there had been a video tape of the scene of the crime which has since disappeared.
Here is the statement of the “Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh”:
For us who have been following the case of Oury Jalloh critically from the very beginning, the latest developments in this trial at the Landgericht (District Court) in Dessau against the two policemen is by no means surprising.
Since the very beginning of the trial in March 2007, we have been witnesses to extremely absurd and alarming concealment tactics on the part of the Dessau police. These tactics are the continuation of camouflaging and obstructionism by the investigating authorities and the state prosecution which already started long before the trial.
During the trial itself, we have experienced on all levels and almost without any exception that the testifying police officers tell everything possible - but not the truth.
But now, the truth and the cover-up of an inexcusable crime slowly comes to light. Because now, the whole construction on which the accusations were based start to break apart. Beside the fact that no one can explain how the lighter, which appeared later on the list of evidence, could have come into the cell, we wonder whether there had been a lighter at all with which Oury Jalloh could have ignited himself; or whether there had been two different lighters or whether one of those lighters had been declared as evidence afterwards in order to distract from the real incidents.
On 9th October, 2007, Peter K., member of the staff of the Landeskriminalamt in Sachsen-Anhalt was heard. Mr. K. works for the LKA as an expert for fire and explosions in Magdeburg and has 27 years of working experience.
Following the testimony of officer K., on January the 10th the policewoman Gisela P. brought him a single bag from about a dozen bags in his laboratory, with remains from the cell in which Oury Jalloh burned to death.
She demanded him to identify the pieces of evidence with her. This procedure, is for us hard to understand since people who work in a laboratory identify things daily and usually they do this in absence of people who do not work in the laboratory.
Why did Gisela P. bring this bag of all bags? As she emptied the content of the bag on the table, a charred lighter appeared which had not been found until then. After this detection Gisela P. phoned her chief and told him: "We've got something here".
So, some days later a lighter appeared on a second list of evidence on which all things that had been found in the cell are listed, and which was not found on the first list of evidence.
After listing the content of the bag Peter K. added the lighter in handwriting to the list of evidence. This handwritten note was not found in the protocol in the files.
In addition to that the witness Peter K. neither knows what was labelled on the unsealable bag nor why this bag had been brought to him. Furthermore, he does not know the name of the chief fire expert and his name does not even appear anywhere in the files of the trial.
The testimony of Mr K. contradicts the that of officer H. from the State office of criminal investigation of lower Saxony (Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen). Mr. H. had inspected the cell on 7th January and collected evidence. He wrote in his report which carried the date of the 25th February, 2005 and also in the files that, there was an area beneath Oury Jalloh’s back that was less burnt than the rest of his body.
There he found a whole "block" in which rests of the brown corduroys, the T-shirt and the mattress were located. This block was securely preserved as evidence in its entity. In his report describing the secured "block" a lighter which was not severely damaged by the fire was also mentioned. The testimony of Mr. H. was based on his inspection of the cell made on the same day of the fire.
During the interrogation of Mr. K. on 9th October, he was asked if the lighter which had been brought to him in the plastic bag by Gisela P. and which he added to the list of evidence could be the same one that had been described by Mr H. in his report. Mister K. answered that this could not possibly be the same lighter since the lighter (described in mister H.’s report), which was not severely affected by the fire while the other one inspected by him and Gisela P. was totally charred. When asked by the lawyers of the joint plaintiff if the description in the case file of the photo of the lighter was not utter nonsense, the fire expert answered, "Yes, it is nonsense".
How many lighters existed in the cell? One was later found and inspected but not in the cell; another one had been found just after the fire beneath Oury Jalloh's back? How is it possible that the lighter with which Oury Jalloh allegedly set himself on fire was located underneath his back while both of his hands were fixed? Which lighter was it that was brought by Gisela P. and inspected by mister K. on the 10th of January? Why did officers not find a lighter when they collected evidence the first time? Where's the "block" with the not severely damaged parts of the trousers, the T-shirt, the mattress and the lighter? And why is it that the taking of evidence in this case was altogether so carelessly carried out? There exists no sketches describing the places in the cell where the pieces of evidence had been found.
Where there one, two or no lighter at all? Lighters made in Germany, by one of the most efficient police forces on earth to hide the most horrendous crimes?
Concerning the fireproof mattress which had been allegedly ignited by Oury Jalloh Mr. K. said: "To get the mattress ignited I muss use a fire accelerant or ignite the tissue from the inside". We know from the testimony of the cleaner who had cleaned the whole cell the same day that the mattress did not show any sign of damage.
We must not forget that, one month after it was published that Oury Jalloh had been fixed on an fireproof mattress the authorities and the prosecution had already put up the thesis - which until now has been neither questioned nor changed - that Oury Jalloh ignited himself with this fictive lighter.
The broken nose bone which had allegedly not been recognized (although they claim that Oury hit the wall with his face several times), the damage in his middle ear - should we forget and ignore all these just because neither the prosecution nor the court is willing to take these clear facts into consideration? Is it only important for the state prosecutor to find out whether the two accused had enough time to save Oury Jalloh's life after the burst of flames?
From the day Oury Jalloh was murdered until today, we have always strongly and vehemently condemned this crime and its cover-up. As a result of that, we have been persecuted and segregated. The cry to "Break the silence" could hardly find an echo in a society that is used to passivity and complicity.
Although in the beginning even the international press reported on this case, there were almost no reports on it in the last months. Meanwhile, the persecution of the initiative "in memory of Oury Jalloh" has been continued. Above all, the legal representative of the Jalloh family and founder of the initiative "in memory of Oury Jalloh" is still not allowed to get back his cybercafé in of Dessau or his business license, which we understand to have been revoked as punishment for his activities.
The trial is supposed to last at least until February next year; that would be more than three years after the murder of Oury Jalloh. Those who had their doubts should have realized by now that the sentences against both accused (and many more that haven't been charged yet) should be far more severe than it will be as if two policemen only acted carelessly. The construction of the suicide now appears to be what it always used to be: a horrendous lie! It is more than clear that this time there must be political as well as juridical consequences—and not only in Dessau!
Some weeks ago judge Steinhoff banged his fist on the table in court, referring to the cover-up and dishonesty, proclaiming that Germany is not a Banana Republic. Also some weeks ago, the now retired vice- director of the police administration, Hans- Christoph Glombitza, said referring to the prosecution of rightwing- motivated crimes that one should not see everything, since the programs of the government against right-wing extremists were just "for the art galleries". In the meantime, the abuse of the rights and persecution of refugees and migrants continue in a violent way in Germany and Europe.
Time and time again, we continuously experience how the victim is made the criminal. In the case of Oury Jalloh, the burnt victim is made an arsonist. We can see how through collective disrespect for human dignity, crimes are committed and justified. On the one hand the historical background of the two accused policemen is of no interest for judge Steinhoff but on the other hand he uses the life of Oury Jalloh to give a false representation of the dead. Concretely, the background investigation is not based on the fact why Oury Jalloh had lost his life three times, how he loved his family, how he fought for the right to be with his child born in Germany but only on which problems he had with drugs and violence. Through this, a human whose rights to live had been robbed here in Germany is portrayed as a criminal.
Nevertheless there has to be an end and that can only happen if people who live here stand up, open their mouths and break the silence. Everybody is being asked to challenge the impunity of the police not just in the case of Oury Jalloh but also other victims in Germany and elsewhere, demanded to make research for information and to point out the despicable system which generates such crimes daily. We call on all to mobilize so as to start a trial in all the other cases like the one of Dominique Koumadio from Dortmund (shot and killed at close range by the police) and John Achidi from Hamburg (drugged to death by the police) to name only two of many. We call for solidarity to create enough pressure so that in case of infringement of rights by the police, independent commissions and organisations of the victims can verify the investigations, making it possible to start a trial.
Break the Silence!
Clarification! Jusitce! Compensation!
Initiative in memory of Oury Jalloh

Oury Jalloh Initiative “Out of the Court – Back on the Street!”
Submitted by azadi on Fri, 08/01/2008 - 22:50. English | Police brutality
Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh - Who was burned to death in the
Dessau Police Station Cell on the 7th of January in 2005
Berlin – July 28, 2008
Press Release
Under the motto “Out of the Court – Back on the Street!” the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh is calling for a nationwide demonstration to be held in Dessau on August 2, 2008. The demonstration will begin at the central train station at 1 p.m. The motive of the demonstration is to denounce the most recent scandalous developments in the case of Oury Jalloh.
The following is the respective declaration of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh:
How many scandals are necessary in order to scandalize a scandal? How insignificant is the death of a Black man at the hands of the police and their subsequent bold-faced attempts to conceal the truth to the society as a whole and the press in particular? How many lies, cover-ups,
contradictions and persecutions are necessary in order for the silence to be broken?
After having struggled – and succeeded – to force a trial for the death of Oury Jalloh, in June of this year the initiative founded in memory of the murdered African refugee has withdrawn from observing the proceedings following 15 months and 43 hearings of systematic lies and cover-up.
Practically all of the evidence presented until this moment contradicts everything the police have claimed until now. From the detention itself to the conditions of his being brought into the police station, from the mysterious lighter to the fireproof mattress, from the disappeared and
tampered with evidence to the contradiction between the reconstructions of the fire and the extremely charcoaled state of Oury Jalloh’s corpse, the entire body of witness testimony stands in direct contradiction of the thesis put forth by the police through internal bulletins and subsequently taken up by the State Prosecutor immediately following the burning to
death of a human being chained at his hands and feet to a fireproof mattress in a holding cell of the police: Oury Jalloh set himself afire (i.e. suicide). “All these is horrendous and brutal”, say Mouctar Bar, the founder of the Initiative.
In spite of all these pieces of evidence which clearly indicate that a serious crime is being covered up on the part of the police, in the trial in Dessau against two police officers for negligence and having overlooked a lighter, respectively, the District Court of Dessau led by Judge
Steinhoff continues to ignore and marginalize ab absurdum any other factor not directly related to the approximately six minute time frame which the main accused Schubert is said to have had to save Oury Jalloh’s life.
The fact that no one could hear the screams of a man being burned to death, the testimony of police officer Kiez, the fire specialist from Magdeburg with 27 years of experience who “found” the lighter, the fact that Oury Jalloh had his pants down to his thighs, that an unexplained
puddle of liquid was seen in the middle of the cell by numerous witnesses, the contradictory statements by the two detaining police officers as to their location at the time of the crime, the broken nose, burnt off fingers and damaged eardrum, the extreme charcoaled state of the corpse, the disappeared video and handcuffs, the revealing testimony of Swen Ennulat, the shocking reconstruction of the fire and, perhaps more importantly, how the fire broke out in the first place, all are considered by all parties involved in these hearings to be irrelevant to the trial
As the people who have faced the trauma associated with confronting such a horrendous death in custody day in day out for over 3 ½ years, as the people whose sweat, tears and sacrifice have forced a trial which otherwise would have and still probably will end in impunity, as many of
the same people who have faced direct police brutality based on the color of our skin, in the face of such an appalling affront to the rule of law we have seen ourselves forced to withdraw from the trial in protest.
In spite of the fact that for years the authorities have done everything in their power to criminalize us, to impede our freedom of speech, to present us as violent offenders whose identification papers have to be constantly searched alongside our bodies, in spite of the criminal
persecution against Mouctar Bah, the friend of Oury Jalloh and his family’s representative here in Germany, in spite of the constant lies and cover-ups, in spite of being angry and desperate for the truth, we have respected the authority of the court and have passively watched yet
another display of arrogance and systematic contempt not only of the court itself but first and foremost of the now deceased Oury Jalloh and all of us who identify with him.
But we shall no longer serve as the legitimation for their show trial nor shall we will remain passive in light of such continued abuses. As such, we will take back the streets which helped us force the trial in the first place. As we have repeatedly shown over the course of these last 44
months, we will break the silence and we will continue our struggle to see that the only wish which can now remain for the Jalloh family of their son be fulfilled: to know the truth about how and why their son had to die.
“We see this case as having something to do with murder which the state is trying to cover-up and society turns a deaf ear and a blind eye but, we shall be relentless and steadfast”, emphasized Mouctar Bah again.
In addition, we shall do everything in our power to see that through our struggle we not only break the silence of a complicit society in the case of Oury Jalloh, but also that the many other numerous cases of police brutality and sometimes even murder, like that of Dominique Koumadio, Laye-Alama Konde and John Achidi, to name just a few, are exposed and justice is done.
For more information please see our contact information listed above.

Tod von Oury Jalloh: Brandursache und Verantwortlichkeit weiter ungeklärt

PRO ASYL zieht nach 22 Monaten und 58 Prozesstagen Bilanz. Gericht mit Aufklärung des qualvollen Verbrennens von Oury Jalloh im Polizeigewahrsam gescheitert! Brandursache und Verantwortlichkeit weiter ungeklärt

I. Vorgeschichte

Prozess unter internationaler Beobachtung: Vor dem Landgericht Dessau geht nach 22 Monaten und 60 Verhandlungstagen ein international aufsehenerregendes Strafverfahren gegen zwei Polizeibeamte zu Ende, denen die Staatsanwaltschaft in ihrer Anklage vorwirft, für den grausamen Verbrennungstod des schwarzen Asylbewerbers Oury Jalloh verantwortlich zu sein. Der unter scharfen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen stattfindende Prozess hatte im März 2007 begonnen und stand in der Anfangsphase - auf Betreiben der "Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh" - unter Beobachtung einer internationalen Delegation von Menschenrechtlern, Anwälten, Wissenschaftlern und Schriftstellern aus Frankreich, Großbritannien, Südafrika und Deutschland. Die "Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh" ist im Sommer 2008 unter Protest aus der Prozessbeobachtung ausgestiegen. Sie geht davon aus, dass es sich bei dem Verbrennungstod nicht lediglich um bloße Nachlässigkeit, sondern um Mord durch die Polizei handele: Der bisherige Verlauf des Strafprozesses habe gezeigt, dass dieser Todesfall nicht rückhaltlos aufgeklärt werde; der Prozess sei eine Farce, ein Scheinprozess, weil in ihm die wesentlichen Fragen, die zur Aufklärung des Mordes an Oury J. hätten führen können, gar nicht erst gestellt worden seien und der rassistische Kontext vollkommen ausgeblendet werde; diese Alibiveranstaltung diene nur dazu, der demokratischen Öffentlichkeit Aufklärungswillen zu demonstrieren und den rechtsstaatlichen Schein zu wahren.

Zum Ende des Verfahrens am 8. Dezember 2008 (Urteilsverkündung) zieht die Flüchtlingsorganisation PRO ASYL (Frankfurt/M.), die diesen Strafprozess durch RA Dr. Rolf Gössner beobachten ließ, eine kritische Bilanz.

Zur Erinnerung: Am 7. Januar 2005 hatten Dessauer Polizisten den Bürgerkriegsflüchtling Oury Jalloh aus Sierra Leone aufgegriffen, weil er Reinigungskräfte auf der Straße belästigt haben soll. Jalloh war betrunken, wehrte sich gegen seine Festnahme und wurde daraufhin in Gewahrsam des Dessauer Polizeireviers genommen. Nach gründlicher Durchsuchung fesselten ihn die Polizisten, weil er angeblich Widerstand leistete, fixierten ihn auf einer Matratze in der Arrestzelle Nr. 5 an Händen und Füßen und ließen ihn stundenlang allein im Zellentrakt des Polizeikellers zurück - unterbrochen nur durch gelegentliche Kontrollgänge. Diese Prozedur diente angeblich dazu, eine "Selbstgefährdung" zu verhindern und in Ruhe seine Identität überprüfen zu können - obwohl er auf dem Polizeirevier bereits bekannt war. In der rundherum gekachelten Sicherheitszelle verbrannte Oury J. auf der feuerfesten Matratze bei lebendigem Leib. Angebliche Todesursache: Hitzeschock. Unbekannt ist, wer die Matratze entzündete und wie der Brand entstand - diese Umstände sollte das gerichtliche Verfahren klären. Trotz Alarmzeichen des Brandmelders und trotz der Hilferufe, die über eine Gegensprechanlage vernehmbar waren, sollen die wachhabenden Beamten nicht rechtzeitig reagiert haben. Ein Gutachten vom Juli 2006 stellte schon vor der mündlichen Verhandlung fest: Hätten die Polizeibeamten sofort reagiert, hätte Oury J. mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit gerettet werden können. Auch diese Frage hatte das Gericht zu klären.

Die Anklage: Bei ihren Ermittlungen hatte die Staatsanwaltschaft, vertreten von Oberstaatsanwalt Christian Preissner, von Anfang an gravierende Widersprüche ignoriert, sich schon frühzeitig auf die Version einer Selbstanzündung Oury Jallohs festgelegt und damit die Einlassung der Angeklagten übernommen. Einem der angeklagten Polizisten, Hans-Ulrich M., wirft die Staatsanwaltschaft fahrlässige Tötung durch Unterlassen vor: Bei der Durchsuchung von Oury J. habe er ein Feuerzeug übersehen, mit dem der total Fixierte später das Feuer selbst gelegt haben soll. Dem Hauptangeklagten, Polizei-Dienstgruppenleiter Andreas Sch., der für den gesamten Gewahrsamsbereich, für die lebensgefährliche Fixierung und die Kontrollgänge die Verantwortung trug, wirft die Staatsanwaltschaft (gefährliche) Körperverletzung mit Todesfolge vor, ebenfalls durch Unterlassen: Er habe die Gegensprechanlage wegen der starken Geräusche aus der Gewahrsamszelle leise gestellt, den Brandalarm zweimal weggedrückt und erst auf Drängen einer Kollegin die Zelle aufgesucht.

Die Nebenklage: Die Anwälte der Nebenklage, Regina Götz, Ulrich von Klinggräff und Felix Isensee, vertreten Mutter, Vater und Bruder des Todesopfers. Sie hatten die Aufgabe, zur Aufklärung des Todesfalles beizutragen. Tatsächlich spielten sie an der Seite der Staatsanwaltschaft, aber unabhängig von ihr, mit ihren Interventionen und beharrlichen Nachfragen eine zentrale Rolle in diesem Strafverfahren (wobei sie skandalöse Polizeistrukturen und Lügenkonstrukte aufdecken, allerdings den eigentlichen Kern des Falles auch nicht aufhellen konnten).

Die 6. große Strafkammer des Landgerichts Dessau unter Vorsitz von Richter Manfred Steinhoff hatte im Verlaufe des Prozesses drängende Fragen zu klären - Fragen, die allerdings nur zum Teil mit der gebührenden Intensität behandelt wurden:
Sind Fesselung und Fixierung eines Betrunkenen (mit fast drei Promille) an allen Gliedmaßen in einer Polizeizelle mit der Menschenwürde und dem Verfassungsgrundsatz der Verhältnismäßigkeit vereinbar und sind sie - auch im strafrechtlichen Sinne - verantwortbar, wenn der Fixierte über Stunden ohne ständige Aufsicht und medizinische Betreuung bleibt?
Wie sind die - erst bei einer zweiten Obduktion - festgestellten Verletzungen an Nase und Ohr zustande gekommen - ist Oury Jalloh vor seinem Tod womöglich misshandelt worden?
Wie gelangte ein Feuerzeug, trotz intensiver Durchsuchung von Oury J., in die Todeszelle und warum wurden Reste davon so spät gefunden?
Wie kann ein mit fast drei Promille stark alkoholisierter, an Händen und Füßen fixierter Mensch ein Feuerzeug aus der Hosentasche fingern und eine Matratze mit feuerfester Ummantelung anzünden, wie es die Anklage unterstellt?
Wie kann eine (angebliche) Selbstverbrennung im Polizeigewahrsam - praktisch unter den Augen der Polizei - passieren? Hat einer der Angeklagten nicht rechtzeitig auf den Brandmelder reagiert und aus welchen Gründen? Hätte also durch rechtzeitiges Reagieren der Tod von Oury Jalloh noch verhindert werden können?
War es Selbstanzündung, wie die Anklage behauptet, oder war es unterlassene Hilfeleistung, fahrlässige Tötung oder gar Mord aus rassistischer Motivation, wie etwa die "Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh" mutmaßt und worauf gewisse Umgereimtheiten und Umstände hindeuten könnten?

II. Zum Prozessverlauf

1. Stattfinden des Gerichtsverfahrens als Erfolg: Als prozessbeobachtende Organisation werten wir es als nicht zu unterschätzenden Erfolg, dass dieser Prozess überhaupt stattgefunden hat und das Verfahren nicht endgültig eingestellt worden ist, wie es so häufig bei Todesfällen auf Polizeirevieren und durch Polizeigewalt passiert. Die Aktivitäten der "Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh" und der so erzeugte öffentliche Druck spielten hier eine maßgebliche Rolle - nachdem das Verfahren über zwei Jahre lang verschleppt worden war. Dem Umstand, dass dieses Gerichtsverfahren überhaupt stattgefunden hat, verdanken wir einen erschreckenden Einblick in Organisation, Verhalten und Mentalität im Dessauer Polizeirevier, und wir konnten das ganze Repertoire dreister Versuche von Polizeibeamten erleben, die juristische Aufarbeitung einer Tragödie, die sich in ihrem Gewahrsam und unter ihrer "Obhut" ereignete, zu hintertreiben - ein makabres Stück bundesdeutschen Polizeialltags, der immer noch von Korpsgeist, einer Mauer des Schweigens und Sanktionsimmunität geprägt ist.

[b]2. Vorprogrammierung durch Selbstanzündungshypothese: Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte sich frühzeitig auf die wenig plausible Hypothese einer rätselhaften Selbstanzündung festgelegt und damit den Prozess entsprechend vorprogrammiert: Das Opfer habe die Matratze, auf der er an Händen und Füßen fixiert worden war, selbst angezündet, indem er mit knapp drei Promille Alkohol im Blut den feuerfesten Bezug der Matratze aufgerissen und die entstandene Öffnung erweitert haben soll, um den Füllstoff in Brand setzen zu können - mit Hilfe eines Feuerzeugs, das bei seiner zuvor erfolgten gründlichen Durchsuchung übersehen worden sein soll. Das verschmorte Feuerzeug ist erst bei einer zweiten Zellendurchsuchung gefunden worden, wobei die Frage, wie ein Feuerzeug überhaupt in die Zelle gelangen konnte, bis heute nicht aufgeklärt ist.

3. Früherer Fall von Pflichtwidrigkeit: Die Anwälte der Nebenklage konnten schon zu Beginn der öffentlichen Verhandlung einen wichtigen Erfolg verbuchen, der dazu führte, dass in dem Verfahren auch jener Todesfall verhandelt werden konnte, der sich bereits 2002 in derselben Zelle 5 des Dessauer Polizeireviers ereignet hatte. Damals starb der 36jährige Obdachlose Mario B. im Polizeigewahrsam, in dem er 15 Stunden verbringen musste, davon mehrere Stunden unkontrolliert. Verantwortlich waren der jetzt angeklagte Polizeibeamte und jener Arzt, der auch die "Gewahrsamstauglichkeit" von Oury Jalloh festgestellt hatte. Zwar ist das Ermittlungsverfahren damals eingestellt worden, aber die Frage nach einer Pflichtwidrigkeit des Angeklagten in jenem Fall blieb offen und spielte auch in dem jetzigen Verfahren eine nicht unerhebliche Rolle. Es drängten sich jedenfalls erstaunliche Parallelen zum Todesfall Oury J. auf.

4. Institutioneller Rassismus: Es ist keineswegs von der Hand zu weisen, dass bereits die Umstände der Kontrolle, der Festnahme und Identifizierung von Oury Jalloh und nicht zuletzt seine Ingewahrsamnahme und Fixierung an allen Gliedmaßen mit institutionellem Rassismus zu tun haben - zumal Jalloh erst wenige Monate zuvor schon einmal auf demselben Revier einer Identitätsüberprüfung unterzogen worden war, was zumindest der Hauptangeklagte wusste. Jalloh hätte also rasch identifiziert und medizinisch versorgt werden können - stattdessen ist der hoch alkoholisierte Migrant, dem keine Straftat vorgeworfen wurde, von dem zuständigen Arzt für gewahrsamstauglich erklärt, dann an allen vier Gliedmaßen über Stunden fixiert und angeblich zur eigenen Sicherheit nahezu bewegungsunfähig gemacht worden. Solche schikanösen und unwürdigen Prozeduren erleben Flüchtlinge und besonders Schwarze hierzulande tagtäglich. Im Gerichtssaal, wo viele Schwarzafrikaner dem Prozess mit Spannung folgten, konnte man es als Prozessbeobachter förmlich spüren, dass in diesem Verfahren auch ihre demütigenden Alltagserfahrungen - etwa willkürliche, rassistisch motivierte Polizeikontrollen - zur Sprache kamen und eine Rolle spielten - besonders spürbar, wenn Polizeibeamte als Zeugen vernommen wurden, die sich an nichts mehr erinnern wollten und sich recht indifferent und verantwortungslos zeigten. Der Vorwurf des latenten bis offenen Rassismus erhielt Nahrung durch die zynischen Redensarten über den Inhaftierten in zwei Telefongesprächen, die der Hauptangeklagte mit jenem Arzt führte, der Jallohs "Gewahrsamstauglichkeit" festgestellt hatte. Ein hochrangiger Polizeibeamter kommentierte später den Verbrennungstod von Oury J. mit den Worten "Schwarze brennen nun mal länger".

5. Polizeizeugen vor Gericht - Korpsgeist in Uniform: Während der Befragung von Zeugen aus den Reihen der Polizei sind auffällige Erinnerungslücken und eklatante Widersprüche zu ihren früheren Vernehmungen zu Tage getreten. Hier lugte der alte Korpsgeist in Polizeiuniform hervor, der sich hinter einer Mauer des Schweigens zu verschanzen und der öffentlichen Kontrolle zu entziehen sucht. Dem Vorsitzenden Richter Manfred Steinhoff platzte angesichts der offenkundigen Lügen, Widersprüche und Ungereimtheiten mehrmals regelrecht der Kragen. Er betonte, dass ein demokratischer Rechtsstaat nicht damit leben könne, dass Polizeibeamte vor Gericht die Unwahrheit sagen. Auch den Hauptangeklagten ermahnte der Richter mehrmals, seine Einlassungen endlich zu überdenken. "Sie sind Beamter des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt und wir leben in keiner Bananenrepublik", polterte der Richter. "Ich werde den Prozess in Grund und Boden verhandeln. Ich werde notfalls jeden Zeugen zehnmal vorladen. Irgendwann fällt jemand um."

6. Die richterlichen Standpauken zeigten gelegentlich auch Wirkung - auch wenn sie keine wirkliche Wende auslösten. Die erneute Vernehmung des Polizeibeamten Gerhardt M. etwa drehte sich um die letzte Phase der Tragödie. Aufhorchen ließ seine erstmals gemachte Aussage, dass er nach Öffnen der Gewahrsamstür durch den Hauptangeklagten - trotz des schwarzen Qualms - zwei Schritte in die Zelle gemacht und Jallohs festgeschnallten Körper gesehen habe. Er habe versucht, die Matratze zu löschen, was ihm aber nicht gelungen sei. "Das einzige, was geholfen hätte, wäre gewesen, ihn sofort loszumachen." Jalloh hätte von seinen Hand- und Fußfesseln befreit werden müssen, aber er habe bedauerlicherweise keine Schlüssel dabei gehabt. Die hatte der Hauptangeklagte, der stets bestritt, dass es möglich gewesen sei, die Zelle zu betreten, da es zu stark gequalmt habe.

[b]7. Die Hauptbelastungszeugin Beate H. relativierte vor Gericht ihre zuvor gemachte belastende Aussage - jetzt soll plötzlich alles zügiger verlaufen sein, nachdem sie zunächst bekundet hatte, dass der Hauptangeklagte die Gegensprechanlage wegen der starken Geräusche aus der Gewahrsamszelle leise gestellt, den Brandalarm zweimal weggedrückt und erst auf ihr Drängen die Zelle aufgesucht habe. Nach dieser ursprünglich gemachten belastenden Aussage hatte sie enorm unter Druck gestanden, war gegen ihren Willen (aus angeblicher "Fürsorgepflicht") versetzt worden, was sie als Bestrafungsaktion empfand. Der ursprüngliche Vernehmungsbeamte bestätigte im Prozess, dass Beate H. bei der ersten Vernehmung klar und deutlich die belastenden Aussagen gemacht habe. Inzwischen hat auch ein Kollege des Hauptangeklagten bekundet, dieser habe ihm gegenüber zugegeben, zu spät reagiert zu haben.

8. Organisierte Verantwortungslosigkeit: Die Aussagen vieler Polizeizeugen haben zum Teil erschreckende Einblicke in die Organisation, das Verhalten und die Mentalität innerhalb des Dessauer Polizeireviers und im Verantwortungsbereich des Hauptangeklagten geboten. Man könnte insoweit auch von organisierter Verantwortungslosigkeit sprechen: Hier lernt man eine Sicherheitsbehörde kennen, in der "Sicherheit" offenbar über Menschenwürde und Bürgerrecht gestellt wird, in der - trotz gesteigerter Garantenpflicht gegenüber einem an Händen und Füßen fixierten Menschen - Kontrollgänge nachlässig absolviert ("dem ging's gut", so ein Polizeizeuge) und beunruhigende Auffälligkeiten ignoriert werden (etwa ungeklärte Flüssigkeit auf Zellenboden), in der es kaum Schulungen oder Unterweisungen gab, geschweige denn ausreichende Brandschutzmaßnahmen, in der ungewöhnliche Geräusche und Alarmzeichen von Feuer- und Rauchmeldern nicht zum sofortigen Handeln führen - "ich hatte nebenbei noch etwas anderes zu tun", so versuchte sich der Angeklagte vor Gericht immer wieder zu entschuldigen. Am Ende geriet diese unverhältnismäßige und unwürdige Gewahrsamsprozedur zur angeblichen Eigensicherung zu einer ausweglosen Todesfalle und der Sicherheitsgewahrsam zu einer Todeszelle. Einer der Polizisten im Zeugenstand meinte gar, mangels Einhaltung minimalster Brandschutzbestimmungen hätte das Polizeirevier längst gesperrt werden müssen. Dann wäre Oury Jalloh wohl heute noch am Leben.

9. Späte Änderung der Gewahrsamsordnung: Oury Jalloh war von den beteiligten Polizeibeamten in eine ausweglose Situation und damit auch in Lebensgefahr gebracht worden. Erst nach diesem unglaublichen Vorfall ist die Gewahrsamsordnung geändert worden: Heute wäre Oury J. in seinem alkoholisierten Zustand nicht mehr in Gewahrsam genommen, sondern in ein Krankenhaus gebracht und dort medizinisch betreut worden. Wer mehr als zwei Promille hat, darf grundsätzlich nicht mehr in die Polizeizelle gesperrt werden, sondern muss - eigentlich eine Selbstverständlichkeit - als medizinischer Fall in ärztliche Obhut. Oury J. könnte also heute noch leben.

10. Interne Hausmitteilungen und Zeugeninformationstreffen: Während des Prozesses sind interne "Hausmitteilungen" des Polizeireviers Dessau aufgetaucht, in denen die Revierleitung unmittelbar nach dem Vorfall den Geschehensablauf vorschnell und einseitig darstellte - basierend allein auf der Version des Hauptbeschuldigten, ohne die abweichende Darstellung der Hauptbelastungszeugin auch nur zu erwähnen. Es liegt der Verdacht nahe, dass damit von Anfang an eine Version festgeschrieben worden ist, die von allen Beteiligten und Zeugen als verbindlich angesehen werden sollte. Die Anwälte der Nebenklage sprechen vom Versuch einer "massiven Manipulation" von Zeugen. Und das war nicht der einzige Versuch: Während des laufenden Prozesses fand im Polizeirevier ein Zeugeninformationstreffen statt, in dem es um Verhaltensregeln und etwaige Falschaussagen von Seiten einzelner Polizeibeamter ging. Anwesend waren Polizisten, die bereits vor Gericht ausgesagt hatten und solche, denen die Vernehmung noch bevor stand. Es ist mehr als anrüchig, generell geschulte Polizeibeamte ausgerechnet anlässlich eines solchen Prozesses und während der laufenden Vernehmungen speziell hierauf vorzubereiten.

11. Geprägt von Ermittlungspannen, verschwundenen Beweisen, Ungereimtheiten: Erst auf die Initiative von Freunden des Verbrannten konnte eine zweite Obduktion von Oury Jalloh durchgeführt werden, die einen Nasenbeinbruch und eine Mittelohrverletzung zu Tage förderte - Verletzungen, die Jalloh vor seinem Feuertod erlitten haben musste. Auf mysteriöse Weise sind im Laufe der Jahre Beweismittel verschwunden, so etwa eine der Handschellen und auf einem Videoband zur Spurensicherung fehlten entscheidende Passagen. Hier nicht an bewusste Beweismittelunterdrückung zu denken, fällt schwer. Die Geschichte um das ominöse Feuerzeug ist auch nach Abschluss des Verfahrens mysteriös geblieben. Offen geblieben ist, warum das verschmorte Feuerzeug so spät (bei einer zweiten Zellendurchsuchung) gefunden wurde, wo und von wem? Wie war es trotz vorheriger gründlicher Leibesvisitation von Oury Jalloh in die Zelle gelangt und wie soll ein vollkommen fixierter Mensch eine feuerfest ummantelte Matratze entzünden? Oder gab es alternative Geschehensabläufe, denen das Gericht nicht genügend nachgegangen ist? All diese Fragen sind auch nach diesem langen Verfahren ungeklärt.

III. Gesamteinschätzung und Fazit

Dieser Fall eines unglaublichen Polizeiskandals und seine justizielle Aufarbeitung sind geprägt von Ungereimtheiten und Schlampereien, Gedächtnislücken und Lügen, Widersprüchen und Vertuschungen, unhaltbaren Hypothesen, verschwundenen Beweisstücken und unterlassenen Ermittlungen. Es gibt mehrere Strafanzeigen gegen Polizeizeugen wegen Falschaussagen. Bei dem Dessauer Mammutprozess handelt es sich zwar um ein bemerkenswertes Strafverfahren, dem es zu verdanken ist, dass die "Ermittlungspannen" und "Wagenburgmentalität" (Ulrich von Klinggräff), die skandalträchtigen Verhaltensweisen und Polizeistrukturen - kurz: die organisierte Verantwortungslosigkeit - auf dem Dessauer Polizeirevier zutage gefördert wurden. Gericht, Staatsanwaltschaft und Nebenklage gaben sich - innerhalb eines eng gesteckten strafprozessualen Rahmens - offensichtliche Mühe, der Tragödie auf die Spur zu kommen und die strafrechtliche Verantwortung zu klären. Aber die Verfahrensbeteiligten scheiterten dennoch an dem öffentlichen Anspruch, den Fall wirklich und umfassend aufzuklären. Die Brandursache ist auch nach langen 22 Monaten und 58 Prozesstagen, nach zahlreichen widersprüchlichen Zeugenaussagen, aufwändigen Brand-Versuchsanordnungen und Brandsachverständigen-Gutachten nicht geklärt.

Manche fragen deswegen nach dem Sinn eines solchen Strafverfahrens, wenn es weder Aufklärung bringt noch die Verantwortlichen angemessen zur Rechenschaft zieht. Ist das nicht tatsächlich eine Farce, die rechtsstaatlichen Aufklärungswillen nur vortäuscht? Doch zu einem erheblichen Teil liegt dies am "systembedingt" begrenzten Charakter von Strafprozessen, die nach formal-prozessualen Regeln ablaufen und in denen es tatsächlich weder um "Wahrheit" noch um "Gerechtigkeit" geht (wie Manche immer noch glauben und hoffen) - allenfalls geht es um den Anschein, strenggenommen nur um eine forensische, also eingeschränkte "Wahrheit", die nicht selten zur Verfälschung neigt. Die Geschehnisse werden aus den Gesamtumständen herausisoliert, strafprozessual "kleingearbeitet" und auf die konkret angeklagten Personen fokussiert.

Und so sind im vorliegenden Fall - angesichts der angeklagten, aber nicht bewiesenen und auch wenig plausiblen These von der Selbstanzündung durch Oury Jalloh - alternative Geschehensabläufe und Verantwortlichkeiten weitgehend aus dem gerichtlichen Blick geraten. So konzentrierten sich die Bemühungen auf die Rekonstruktion des Brandverlaufs und auf die Bestimmung der Hitzeentwicklung nach Ausbruch des Feuers - aber nicht auf die eigentlich entscheidende Frage, wie dieses Feuer tatsächlich ausgebrochen und wer dafür ursächlich verantwortlich war. Zumal die Matratze einen feuerfesten Bezug hatte, der erst mit einem scharfen Gegenstand aufgerissen werden musste, um die Matratzenfüllung über ein genügend großes Loch erreichen und entzünden zu können. Diese Fragen blieben im ganzen Strafverfahren, trotz mancher Anhaltspunkte, merkwürdig unterbelichtet - an Indizien und Schlussfolgerungen mangelte es nicht, aber an greifbaren Beweisen für ein bewusstes Tötungsdelikt oder gar Mord bezogen auf die Angeklagten.

Die Hauptanstrengungen des Gerichts galten also der Aufarbeitung der Phase nach Brandlegung. Bei all den notwendigen Überprüfungen, ob der Angeklagte M. nachlässig gehandelt und der Hauptangeklagte Sch., aus welchen Motiven auch immer, nicht rechtzeitig gehandelt hatte - wofür vieles spricht - darf die alles entscheidende Fragestellung nicht vergessenen werden, wie es überhaupt zu dieser Tragödie eines Verbrennungstodes im Polizeigewahrsam kommen konnte und dass dafür letztlich die Ingewahrsamnahme Oury Jallohs und seine Fixierung an Händen und Füßen eine nicht hinwegzudenkende Bedingung war. Er ist von den verantwortlichen Polizeibeamten, nicht zuletzt vom Hauptangeklagten, erst in eine solch brenzlige Lage gebracht worden - eine Lage ohne ausreichende Kontrolle, die von Sachverständigen im Verfahren als gefährlich und verantwortungslos bezeichnet wurde - und die für Jalloh zur ausweglosen Falle wurde.

Dieser Prozess und die zu erwartende Entscheidung dürfen nicht das letzte Wort sein. Wir fordern eine angemessene Entschädigung der Familie des im Polizeigewahrsam verbrannten Oury Jalloh - für diesen Verbrennungstod haben die Polizei und damit das Land Sachsen-Anhalt die Verantwortung zu übernehmen (selbst wenn das Gericht die angeklagten Polizeibeamten mangels Beweises oder nach dem Grundsatz in dubio pro reo freisprechen oder gar das Verfahren gegen Auflage einstellen sollte).

Wir halten es, ähnlich wie die "Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh", für notwendig, alle Todesfälle im Polizei- und Abschiebegewahrsam und aufgrund von Polizeigewalt der letzten Jahre von einer unabhängigen internationalen Experten-Kommission untersuchen zu lassen. Denn es kommt immer wieder vor, dass Angehörige sozialer Randgruppen, darunter Obdachlose, Drogenabhängige und besonders Flüchtlinge in Polizeigewahrsam und in Abschiebehaft schwer verletzt werden oder gar ums Leben kommen; häufig bleiben solche Fälle unaufgeklärt und ungesühnt. Nach einer Studie der Universität Halle starben zwischen 1993 und 2003 bundesweit 128 Menschen im Polizeigewahrsam; dabei hätte jeder zweite Tod verhindert werden können.

Aus dem gravierenden Befund einer organisierten Verantwortungslosigkeit, wie er sich aus dem Verfahren ergab, müssen dringend politische Konsequenzen gezogen werden - etwa was personelle Verantwortlichkeiten, Qualität gewahrsamsärztlicher Untersuchungen und Menschenrechtsbildung anbelangt. Zu fordern ist darüber hinaus, strukturelle Missstände bei der Polizei transparent zu machen und Fehlentwicklungen auch mit Hilfe von unabhängigen Kontrollinstitutionen, wie einem Polizeibeauftragten mit besonderen Kontrollbefugnissen, zu begegnen. (R.G.)

gez. Bernd Mesovic
Referent, 05. Dezember 2008

Press Release of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh from December 19, 2008
Submitted by kandolo on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 17:39. Berlin | English | Police brutality
Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh
Truth! Justice! Reparations!
Mobil: +49 (0)170-8788124
Press Release of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh from December 19, 2008
On December 8, 2008, the District Court of Dessau acquitted the two accused police officers Andreas Schubert and Hans-Ulrich März. The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh announces an INDEPENDENT COMMISSION to investigate the circumstances of Oury Jalloh's death and the systematic cover-up orchestrated by the police during the entire court proceedings. Once again, the legal system has demonstrated just how little interest it has not only in ensuring truth and justice in the case of Oury Jalloh but in all other cases of racist police brutality.
For many months the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh has denounced the trial as a farce and warned from exactly such a court decision.
Trial Ends in Acquittal
Berlin / Dessau December 19, 2008
Upon the termination of the trial in Dessau the police of Sachsen-Anhalt announced, "The police will continue with disciplinary proceedings to determine further consequences against the police officers in question." Yet it is clear that the evident lies, false testimonies and esprit de corps on the part of the police was primarily responsible for the failure of the trial itself. Even Judge Steinhoff is of this opinion.
As expected, both police officers on trial in the case of Oury Jalloh were acquitted. Neither the State Prosecutor nor the District Court of Dessau were capable of sentencing either of the accused police officers for negligence. When the parties in question, however, limit themselves to the most unlikely of all theoretical possibilities, i.e. that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire, when the court considers everything which happened prior to the outbreak of the fire to be irrelevant for the proceedings, when an entire police station participates in the cover-up and lies without being punished or even being required to provide sworn testimony, nothing more can be expected from the proceedings than that which Judge Steinhoff so accurately admitted: "This trial has been a failure."
Steinhoff described his own acquittal as, "simply an end that must be formal."
But the main farce of this entire affair is that there have been many pieces of evidence which have pointed to murder but which the court consequently excluded from the proceedings. Although the investigations were in fact extensive, from the very beginning the State Prosecutor and the District Court of Dessau limited themselves to one single line of investigation.
The outcome of the trial thus comes as no surprise. As the trial began it was already evident that the formal accusation launched by the State Prosecutor was insufficient in terms of uncovering the factual circumstances surrounding Oury Jalloh's death. At the very least the two police officers should have been accused of murder after the several reconstructions of the fire carried out by the fire department proved that a person chained down at his hands and feet like Oury Jalloh could not burn himself to death.
But Judge Steinhoff found himself between a rock and a hard spot. On December 8 Steinhoff could not pronounce an adequate sentence yet to prevent a major public outcry he also couldn't simply acquit the police officers.
A lighter which Oury Jalloh did not possess at the time of his detention is a lighter which can also not be overlooked. Likewise, a human being cannot be saved from the fire if it is assumed that the person has already died through physical abuse. The second autopsy done on Oury Jalloh determined that he had suffered a broken nose.
In order to prevent a possible revision, the court even went so far as to propose the cancellation of the trial and showed absolutely no shame in offering the family 5,000 euros to accept such an act.
"They, this police in their organization from top to bottom, is accused of the murder of Oury Jalloh. The evidence gathered during the trial merge together to form an overall picture: the police is guilty of what happened in Dessau."
(Wolf Dieter Narr, trial observer for the Committee for Civil Rights and Democracy)
"Just as are the State Prosecutor and the courts of Germany are guilty for the murder of Oury Jalloh and all other similar cases which until today have yet to be clarified."
(Mouctar Bah, Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh)
Because the District Court of Dessau refused to comprehensively investigate in all directions in order to determine the factual circumstances surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh has begun to work on the development of an independent commission. In this regards, a petition will be presented on January 7, 2009 at 12 p.m. at a press conference in Dessau.
Following the acquittal, human rights organizations, political parties and progressive groups have demanded the installation of an independent commission. We hereby demand that these organizations do everything within their power to see that such words now be put into practice.
For almost four years now the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh has organized actions in Dessau as well as in many other cities throughout Germany. For almost four years we have been forced to accept the direct intervention in our demonstrations of the very same police against whose violence and even murder we are protesting. Each time we are forced to deal with the targeted provocations of the police.
On December 8, 2008, the day of the acquittal, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh suffered several attempts by the police to detain activists of the demonstration. On two separate occasions the police attempted to arrest Mb. Y., who had registered the demonstration, in order to prevent it from continuing. Nevertheless, this could be prevented through the resolve of the protestors. Thereafter Mb. Y. was ordered to leave the demonstration (a failure to do so is considered a crime in Germany).
We see such actions and provocations on the part of the police as an attempt to intimidate the activists and to deter them from continuing their struggle for truth and justice. Until today, four years later, these attempts have not proved successful. Nor will they in the future.
Almost four years after Oury Jalloh's bestial death in Cell No. 5 in Dessau and having been witness to a show trial we continue to maintain our denouncement:
Oury Jalloh - It was murder!
and demand:
We will not desist in our struggle until our demands have been met. As a result, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh hereby calls for a demonstration against racist police violence and show trials whose intention it is to cover up murder. The demonstration will take place on January 7, 2009, at 1 p.m. in Dessau.
Feel free to contact us if you require any further information.

Press release on the 4th Year Memorial of Oury Jalloh Murder in Dessau Police Cell No. 5 - Demonstration on January 7, 2009
Submitted by voice on Sun, 04/01/2009 - 21:40.
Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh
Wahrheit, Gerechtigkeit, Entschädigung!
initiative-ouryjalloh(at) / Mobil: +49 (0)170-8788124
To the public // To the press // To the citizens of Dessau
5. Januar 2009
"My resentments are there so that the crime becomes moral reality for the criminal, so that he be forced into the truth of his crime." Jean Améry, Holocaust survivor
- Demonstration on January 7, 2009, in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of Oury Jalloh's death
- The police apparently plan new provocations and attacks against the demonstration
- Call for vigilance and monitoring
7th January 2009 at 12 O’clock: Press Conference of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh. Place: Multikulturelles Zentrum Dessau e.V. Parkstr. 7, 06846 Dessau
On January 7, 2009, for the fourth anniversary of Oury Jalloh's murder, family, friends and other people of solidarity who do not tolerate racist murders and the legal exclusion of human beings are mobilizing to Dessau.
We are coming to Dessau in remembrance of the victims of racist state-executed violence. We are coming to Dessau in the name of justice. We shall come to Dessau in defense of the truth. We say, "It was murder!" and continue to name and denounce those responsible. Our weapons are our words and our presence. Our aim is the end of racist police attacks.
Four years ago, on January 7, 2005, Oury Jalloh was the victim of a racially motivated crime. Oury Jalloh burned to death while chained at his hands and feet to a fireproof mattress in an empty holding cell at the police station in Dessau. Like his detention itself and the abuses suffered by Oury Jalloh while in detention, the entire circumstances surrounding his death were racially motivated. What happened thereafter was also racist: no serious investigation was ever carried out and the only line ever put forth involved the lies constructed by the police and other state officials to protect the victimizers: Oury Jalloh killed himself. But our voices, the voices of Oury's family, friends and an international public continuously managed to break the silence and unmask the lies intended to conceal the crime committed on that January 7, 2005.
Oury Jalloh – It was murder!
Our voice continuously obliged the state, which has developed a highly polished system of discrimination, terror and defamation of refugees and migrants, to at least give the appearance of responding to our demand for truth. A show trial, which lasted almost as long as it took to even finally open proceedings in the first place, was staged two years after Oury Jalloh's death. On each and every 60 days of proceedings, metal detectors and photocopies of activists' passports were used in the attempt to intimidate those of us who attended the trial as court observers. It was a lavish piece of theatre with up to 70 police witnesses who, in spite of constant witness counseling and psychological support, consistently outdid each other in terms of their lies and contradictions. "Lost" pieces of evidence and several failed attempts to reconstruct the fire demonstrated the untenability and absurdity of the suicide thesis. Nevertheless, the proceedings were brought to an end and the two police officers on trial were acquitted of all charges.
The German state is a state that puts racism into law and promotes it in society, protects the state-appointed victimizers, conceals racist crimes and attempts to silence the voice of the victim.
The authorities presented this message to us already on the day of the acquittal: the police continuously hassled the protestors, provoked us with the illegal filming of our demonstration and forced us to stop on several occasions. In spite of the fact that we remained calm, such provocations persisted during the entire demonstration.
Yet they have already demonstrated their plans to attack us yet again during the demonstration in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of Oury Jalloh's murder. Both the behavior of the police on the day of the acquittal as well as an unusually long and in part nonsensical catalogue of restrictions for the demonstration lead us to this conclusion.
In its catalogue of restrictions, the Office for Public Order and Traffic of the city of Dessau-Roßlau wrote: "In issuing the restrictions, it shall be taken to your disfavor that—as experience shows—violence-oriented persons and groups participate in the demonstrations you register whom you are incapable of controlling."
Alone the motivation for our demonstration belies this statement; it is precisely the apparatus of the state which is responsible for state-violence that categorizes the very people who travel to Dessau to protest against that violence and who struggle for a society free from violence as violent. And without even providing any concrete reason or evidence.
We hereby request that the general public, the press and the citizens of Dessau be present as observers in the hope that we can thus avoid violence on the part of the authorities.
Alongside other attempts at intimidation, the Office for Public Order and Traffic also made known the following: "As a matter of precaution, we are hereby informing you that participants who possess an Aufenthaltsgestattung (permission to remain) or a Duldung (permission to remain until deported) will require the authorization of the respective immigration authorities in order to leave their assigned districts."
Meant here is the so-called Residenzpflicht, or the Residence Obligation Law. This law determines that refugees may only physically remain in the district to which they have been assigned by the authorities. This is why Residenzpflicht has been called the German Apartheid law. It is unique in all of Europe. Refugees must apply for permission from the immigration authorities in order to leave their assigned district at any time, even if it is only a question of five meters. There are no comprehensible rules as to when permission should be given. In this manner, the bureaucrats of the so-called Foreigners' Office, which are generally integrated into the Office for Public Order, are allowed to do and act as they please. As a result, our actions, our meetings and our cultural happenings are always an act of resistance against the Residenzpflicht. There is only one solution to this abhorrent law: the complete abolition of the mutilation of the right to freedom of movement.
We are hereby reinforcing our call for participation in the demonstration to be held on January 7, 2009, in Dessau as well as increased attention, immediate support and, if necessary, urgent actions.
We call on all self-organized refugee and migrant organizations, anti-racist groups and human rights associations to show their solidarity and participate in the activities in Dessau. On the fourth anniversary of Oury Jalloh's death we will also remember other victims of racist police violence. Among others, we will pay our tributes to Laye Kondé and Dominique Koumadio. Both lost their lives at the hands of the police. Our experience with their deaths was the same as that which we saw in the case of Oury Jalloh: intentionally slipshod investigations, intimidation of the family and supporters, acquittal of the accused as well as the concealment of the truth and the suppression of the causes of the crime.
Finally, we also request support for the development of an independent commission to investigate the causes of death of Oury Jalloh as well as the concealment of the truth on the part of the police.

Die Polizei zu Dessau ist schuldig
Submitted by kandolo on Sat, 12/13/2008 - 20:05. Deutsch | Police brutality
Liebe Mitstreiterinnen und Mitstreiter,
sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
nachfolgend finden Sie die Erklärung von Prof. Wolf-Dieter Narr, der im Namen des Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie der Urteilsverkündung im Prozess um den Tod des Asylsuchenden Oury Jalloh beiwohnte.
Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie
Aquinostr. 7-11
50670 Köln
Tel.: 0221-972 69 30
Fax : 0221-972 69 31
Struktureller Mord im Lügengespinst der Polizei
Ein ungewöhnliches Urteil der 6. Strafkammer zu Dessau
Am 7.1.2005 ist Oury Jalloh aus Sierra Leone im Polizeigewahrsam zu Dessau, in Zelle Nr. 5 auf einer Schaumgummimatratze festgekettet, um die Mittagszeit verbrannt. Oury Jalloh, Anfang zwanzig, hatte in der BRD vergebens Asyl gesucht. Warum wurde Oury Jalloh in eine Zelle gebracht und festgekettet; warum wurde die Situation des Gefesselten nicht andauernd überprüft; wer hat die Matratze in Brand gesteckt; wie kam ein Feuerzeug in die blitzsaubere Zelle; warum wurde Oury Jalloh nicht rechtzeitig losgekettet und gerettet? Fragen über Fragen.
Über zwei Jahre nach dem Feuertod in polizeigeschützter Gewahrsamzelle wurden zwei Polizeibeamte, einer höheren Rangs, staatsanwaltlich angeklagt. Sie hätten aufgrund pflichtmäßigen Versäumnisses und fahrlässig zum unerklärten Tod im äGewahrsamsbereich" der Dessauer Polizei beigetragen.
Am 8.1.2008 um 16.45 Uhr ging der Prozess mit einem längst erwarteten Freispruch wie einem musikalischen Scheinschluss zu Ende. Freunde Oury Jallohs protestierten. Hin und her gehen Protestrufe, Versuche in den Gerichtssaal gekommener Polizeileute, die Protestierenden hinauszudrängen. Der Vorsitzende Richter, Manfred Steinhoff, verkörperte Deeskalation durch Sichruhigverhalten. Um 17.30 Uhr hebt er damit an, Gründe für den Freispruch vorzutragen. Nun kommt alles andere als erwartet.
Das Verfahren habe in einem rechtstaatlichen Sinne als Wahrheitssuche nicht stattfinden können.
Die Suche nach einem angemessen Urteil seien in über 60 statt in sechs Sitzungen daran gescheitert, dass auf dem Boden sumpfiger Wahrscheinlichkeiten und unzuverlässiger Indizien keine harte Tatsachen und stimmigen Indizien hätten gesichtet werden können.
Dafür aber seien drei ineinander verhakte Gründe schuldig: eine unzureichende staatsanwaltliche Zeugenvernahme und Klageschrift (letzteres deutete der Richter nur an); eine Polizeibehörde, die nicht nur das Verfahren ungehörig zu beeinflussen suchte, sondern lebenswichtige Vorkehrungen insbesondere in der Gewahrsamzelle und in Sachen Feuerschutz schlampig zu treffen versäumte; insbesondere aber ein anhaltendes Lügenspinnen der polizeilichen Zeugen, die Angeklagten eingeschlossen. Jede und jeder habe, ihre beruflichen Pflichten versäumt und statt dessen nach dem Prinzip des Opportunismus sich verhalten: rette sich wer kann. Darum häuften sich Fehlaussagen, Widersprüche, zu spät kommende Erinnerungen, groteske Kompetenzmängel und ähnliches mehr. Darum seien die Ermittlungen durch eine bunte Kette von "Pleiten, Pech und Pannen gekennzeichnet gewesen."
"Sie - dieses Corps der Polizeibeamtinnen und Beamten, die Leitung eingeschlossen - alle haben dem Rechtsstaat geschadet." Der Freispruch erfolge, weil das Gericht "im Namen des Volkes" zur Wahrheit verpflichtet sei. Diese sei von der Polizei von Lügen zugehängt worden.
Richter Steinhoff sprach nicht von einer Prozessverhinderung durch die Polizei, einem äinstitutionellen Rassismus", abgefeimte Konstruktion der Tatsachen, die schon mit der staatsanwaltlichen Anklage begonnen habe, wie die treffliche Vertreterin und die beiden kompetent-engagierten Vertreter der Nebenklage. Er benutzte nicht den Ausdruck "Struktureller Rassismus", nicht "Lügengespinst der Polizei". Darauf lief jedoch die Urteilsbegründung ohne eigentliches Urteil hinaus. Ein Prozessergebnis, in dem der Polizei, und nicht nur der Dessauer mit durchschlagenden Gründen der Prozess gemacht wurde. Die Polizei: schlampig, inkompetent, fahrlässig, vorurteilsgeneigt, arrogant ob ihrer Gewalt, aber selbst festgefügt wie ein beweglicher Block mit raren Ausnahmen, sobald eigenen Mängeln nachgegangen werden sollte: sie, diese Polizei in ihrer Organisation von oben bis unten ist des Mordes an Oury Jalloh angeklagt. Die im Verfahren gesammelten Indizien fügen sich jenseits einzelner Personen zu einem schlüssigen Gesamtbild zusammen: Die Polizei zu Dessau ist schuldig.
Köln/Berlin 9. Dezember 2008
Wolf-Dieter Narr

*(Berlin, 06.01.2009)*

Heute vor vier Jahren wurde Oury Jalloh in Dessau von Polizisten illegal in Gewahrsam genommen. Anschließend verbrannte er in Zelle Nr. 5. Zahlreiche Beweise und Indizien zeigen deutlich in die Richtung, dass es keineswegs Suizid war. Die in der zweiten unabhängigen Autopsie festgestellten Verletzungen weisen auf Misshandlung hin. Das Gericht veranstaltete ein 22 Monate dauerndes Schauspiel, um die Vertuschung unter einem rechtsstaatlichen Mantel zu verdecken. Der traurige Höhepunkt der vielen Verhandlungstage war, dass das Gericht nicht einmal wegen unterlassener Hilfeleistung die Polizisten verurteilen kann. Das ist leider unser Alltag: Rassistische Polizisten, eine rassistische Justiz, die unwillig ist, institutionellen Rassismus gegen Schwarze anzuprangern und nicht einmal anzusprechen.
Ursprünglich hat das Gericht ja den Fall abgeschlossen und eingestellt gehabt. Dass es überhaupt zum Prozess kam, ist dem erbitterten, unnachgiebigen und harten Kampf der schwarzen Community zu verdanken: Ein erster Erfolg gegen die nicht farbenblinde Justitia.
Bis zum letzten Verhandlungstag war klar geworden, dass die Polizei organisiert und systematisch Beweise verschwinden lässt, vertuscht und lügt. So dass sogar der vorsitzende Richter am Ende den Prozess für „gescheitert“ erklärt hat und dass ein rechtsstaatlicher Prozess nicht möglich war. Trotzdem interessierte das Gericht die Todesumstände von Oury Jalloh weniger als die Sekunden, die die Polizisten hätten sprinten können, um das Feuer zu löschen, das sie eventuell selber gelegt haben.
Obwohl Suizid die unmöglichste Variante war, hatte das Gericht zur Gunsten der Polizei und Staatsanwaltschaft alle Hinweise und Beweise verdeckt, um mit viel theatralischem Aufwand die Polizei freizusprechen und die strukturelle Rassismus zu verleugnen.
Viele von uns haben am eigenen Leib erlebt wie Schwarze von Polizei, Staatsanwaltschaft und Gerichten rassistisch behandelt werden. Genau dieses rassistische Zusammenspiel macht einen institutionellen Rassismus, der mittlerweile von allen Experten der UNO und des Europarats an Deutschland hart kritisiert wurde. Die deutlichen Worte von Experten des UN-Ausschusses zur Beseitigung der rassistischen Diskriminierung (CERD) und der Europäischen Kommission gegen Rassismus und Intoleranz (ECRI) und des Europarats und die Berichte der schwarzen Community trafen auf taube Ohren, nicht nur bei deutschen Behörden, aber auch bei Menschenrechtsorganisationen wie amnesty international, die in ihren Verlautbarungen zum Fall von Oury Jalloh und anderen ähnlichen Fällen, das Thema und den Begriff Rassismus ausklammern. Wir haben sie alle auch in
unserem vierjährigen Kampf auf unserer Seite vermisst.
Die rassistische Justiz geht sogar so weit, der Familie von Oury 5000 € anzubieten, um ihr Einverständnis zu erkaufen, das Verfahren einzustellen und ein für alle mal abzuschließen und ihnen damit die Möglichkeit der Revision zu berauben. Die Familie war natürlich empört und entsetzt über dieses menschenunwürdige Angebot. Sie fordern Wahrheit und Aufklärung, die sie mit keinem Geld der Welt eintauschen werden.
Viele von uns in der schwarzen Community haben nicht nur wegen des Falls Oury Jalloh kein Vertrauen in das rassistische Justizsystem, das wir tagtäglich erleben. Deshalb fordern wir die Einsetzung einer unabhängigen internationalen Expertenkommission, die den Fall Oury Jalloh untersucht und alle andere Schwarze Brüder und Schwestern wie /Amir Ageeb/, welcher am 28. Mai 1999 im Verlauf einer Abschiebung in einem Flugzeug in den Sudan von einigen deutschen Grenzbeamten getötet wurde; wie unsere geliebte Schwester /Mareame Sarr/, Mutter zweier Kinder, die am 14. Juli 2001 von zwei deutschen Polizeibeamten erschossen wurde, während sie versuchte, ihre Kinder aus dem Haus ihres weißen Ex-Mannes abzuholen; wie /Laye-Alama Conde/, welcher genau wie Oury Jalloh am 7. Januar 2005 nach einem polizeilich erzwungenen Brechmitteleinsatz in Bremen im Koma starb; wie /Dominique Koumandio/, der am 14. April 2006 in Dortmund von zwei deutschen Polizeibeamten erschossen wurde; wie /Mohammed Selah/, der am 14. Januar 2007 in Remscheid starb, nachdem ihm ein Krankenschein vom einem Beamten des Sozialamts verwehrt worden war, mit dem er einen Arzt hätte aufsuchen können; und wie all diejenigen, die wir nicht kennen oder nicht erwähnt haben.
Vom deutschen Justizsystem fordern wir die Neuaufnahme des Verfahrens mit neuen Beweisaufnahmen. Von der Bundesregierung fordern wir die Empfehlungen von CERD und ECRI in Bezug auf Rassismus in der deutschen Polizei und Justiz umzusetzen und alle ähnlichen Todesfälle transparent
An die Politik richten wir erneut unsere Forderung, rassistische Gewalt auf der Straße und in Polizeigewahrsam endlich ernst zu nehmen und Sofortmaßnahmen einzuleiten.
Wir fordern daher eine unabhängige Kommission, die die Ursachen für den Tod Oury Jallohs, für seine Haft und für die Kettung seines Körpers am Tag des 7. Januar 2005 wie auch das Gerichtsverfahren unabhängig untersucht.
Auch aus diesem Anlass unterstützen wir den Demonstrationaufruf der Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh gegen rassistische Polizeigewalt und gegen Scheinprozesse, die für 7. Januar 2009 ab 13 Uhr in für eine
Demonstration in Dessau aufgerufen hat.
12 Uhr :Presse Konferenz der Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh.
Ort: Multikulturelles Zentrum Dessau e.V.
Parkstr. 7, 06846 Dessau
Kontakt: Mouctar Bah 016095796679
Moctar Kamara 01721797958
**AFRICAN/BLACK COMMUNITY (ABC) ist ein Zusammenschluss von Vereinen, Initiativen und Aktivisten der African/Black Community in Deutschland*
Der Tod von Oury Jalloh bleibt ungesühnt

Presse Erklärung von Pro Asyl zum Urteil im folgenlos bleibenden Prozess zum Verbrennungstod von Oury Jalloh in einer Dessauer Polizeizelle. Darin werden der Korpsgeist der Polizei und unzureichende justizielle Aufarbeitung kritisiert und Konsequenzen gefordert.

Gericht scheitert an der Aufklärung des Verbrennungstodes des schwarzen Asylsuchenden im Dessauer Polizeigewahrsam

PRO ASYL fordert Entschädigung der Familie des Todesopfers und Einsetzung einer unabhängigen Expertenkommission

Mit dem gestrigen Freispruch bleibt der Verbrennungstod des schwarzen Asylsuchenden Oury Jalloh ungesühnt, ein Polizei- und Ermittlungsskandal bleibt ohne Folgen für die Beteiligten. Wer sich von dem Strafprozess eine Aufklärung des Geschehens und eine angemessene Ahndung polizeilicher Gewaltanwendung erwartet hatte, sieht sich getäuscht. Die Brandursache ist auch nach 22 Monaten Prozessdauer nicht geklärt. Das Gericht ist beim Versuch der Aufklärung nicht zuletzt an einer Mauer des Schweigens von Seiten der Polizeizeugen und einer Fülle von Ermittlungspannen gescheitert, die in dieser Vielzahl letztendlich nur die Schlussfolgerungen zuließen: Am Tattag war in der Polizeizelle Nummer 5 im Dessauer Polizeirevier alles möglich. Der vorsitzende Richter hat in seiner mündlichen Urteilsbegründung deutliche Worte für diese Zustände gefunden und erklärt, vor diesem Hintergrund sei ein rechtsstaatliches Verfahren nicht möglich gewesen. Somit sind die Freisprüche von Dessau Zeichen einer Krise des Rechtsstaats.

Im Verfahren ist ein Organisationsversagen der Polizei von dramatischen Ausmaßen zutage getreten. Von einem unabwendbaren Unglücksfall kann jedenfalls in diesem Kontext nicht die Rede sein. Auch deshalb fordert PRO ASYL eine angemessene staatliche Entschädigung der Familie des Todesopfers und die Einsetzung einer unabhängigen Expertenkommission. Sie soll alle Todesfälle in Polizei- und Abschiebegewahrsam untersuchen.

Das Gericht hat sich frühzeitig auf die durch nichts bewiesene These der Staatsanwaltschaft festgelegt, Oury Jalloh habe die feuerfeste Matratze im Gewahrsam, an Händen und Füßen gefesselt, selbst entzündet. Nicht nur dies ist ungeklärt. Alternative Szenarien - inklusive Fremdeinwirkung - sind nicht ausreichend aufgeklärt worden. Staatsanwaltschaft und Gericht wollten von vornherein das Undenkbare nicht denken. Das Gericht konzentrierte sich frühzeitig im Verfahren auf die Minuten nach dem Ausbruch des - wie auch immer entstandenen - Feuers und damit auf die Frage, ob der Hauptangeklagte Andreas S. bei rechtzeitigem Handeln Oury Jalloh noch hätte retten können.

Eines zumindest hat das Strafverfahren geleistet: Es gibt einen tiefen Einblick in die skandalösen Zustände im Dessauer Polizeirevier. Es beleuchtet ein makabres Stück bundesdeutschen Polizeialltags, geprägt von Korpsgeist und einer Mauer des Schweigens. In der Urteilsbegründung hat der vorsitzende Richter auf dreiste Versuche von Polizisten hingewiesen, die juristische Aufarbeitung dieser Tragödie zu hintertreiben.

Die Tumulte im Gerichtssaal nach der Urteilsverkündung waren Ausdruck der Empörung darüber, dass der Tod eines Schwarzen in den Händen der Polizei zum wiederholten Mal unzureichend aufgeklärt wurde und ungesühnt blieb. Die Betroffenheit gerade auch der schwarzen Community in Deutschland ist verständlich: Unter den Opfern exzessiver Polizeigewalt, in Deutschland und in anderen EU-Ländern, sind viele Schwarze. Demgegenüber sind die meisten Verantwortlichen noch heute im Polizeidienst.

Gefesselt, geknebelt, lagebedingt erstickt - so starben in EU-Staaten u.a. :: Kola Bankole, :: Joy Gardner, :: Amir Ageeb, :: Marcus Omofuma, :: Mariame Getu Hagos, :: Samson Chukwu, :: Semira Adamu, :: Osamuyia Aikpitanhi, :: Cheibani Wague. Und erst in der letzten Woche hat der Ausgang des sogenannten "Brechmittelprozesses" vor dem Bremer Landgericht gezeigt, dass Unwissen und berufliche Unfähigkeit durchaus Täter vor Strafe schützen, wenn das Opfer ein Schwarzer ist.

Das Urteil wird der Tatsache nicht gerecht, dass die beteiligten Polizeibeamten den alkoholisierten Oury Jalloh durch die Ingewahrsamnahme und die unverantwortliche Fixierung an Händen und Füßen bewusst in eine ausweglose Gefahrenlage gebracht hatten. Sachverständige im Verfahren haben dieses Vorgehen ohne ständige Kontrolle, ohne jede medizinische Betreuung, als gefährlich und verantwortungslos bezeichnet. Dies hätte strafrechtlich relevant sein müssen, denn das Handeln der Polizei schuf die Voraussetzungen für diese Tragödie.

Nach dem Urteil: Konsequenzen sind nötig.

Der Dessauer Polizeiskandal und seine unzureichende justizielle Aufarbeitung sind geprägt von Ungereimtheiten und Schlampereien, unhaltbaren Hypothesen, Gedächtnislücken und Lügen, Widersprüchen und Vertuschungen, von verschwundenen Beweisstücken und unterlassenen Ermittlungen. Es handelt sich um einen weiteren Fall organisierter Verantwortungslosigkeit. Die individuelle Schuld macht sich in der Institution unangreifbar, ist verspäteten juristischen Aufklärungsversuchen gegenüber resistent. Das Aussageverhalten der Polizeizeugen im Prozess war ein Anschlag auf den Rechtsstaat. Die dilettantischen Ermittlungen sind mit Schlamperei kaum zu erklären.

Es gibt allerdings eine organisatorische Gesamtverantwortung. Auch deshalb dürfen dieser Prozess und dieses Urteil nicht das letzte Wort sein. PRO ASYL fordert eine angemessene Entschädigung der Familie des Todesopfers. Wir halten es darüber hinaus, wie die "Initiative im Gedenken an Oury Jalloh" für nötig, dass alle Todesfälle im Polizei- und Abschiebegewahrsam und aufgrund von Polizeigewalt an anderen Orten von einer unabhängigen internationale Expertenkommission untersucht werden.

In Dessau ist erneut deutlich geworden, dass das strukturelle Problem der organisierten Verantwortungslosigkeit mit den Mitteln der Justiz allein nicht zu fassen ist. Es müssen dringend weitere politische Konsequenzen gezogen werden - etwa was die personellen Verantwortlichkeiten, die Qualität gewahrsamsärztlicher Untersuchungen und die Menschenrechtsbildung im Bereich der Polizei anbelangt. Dem im Verfahren sichtbar gewordenen Korpsgeist bei der Polizei muss entgegengewirkt, Fehlentwicklungen auch mit Hilfe von unabhängigen Kontrollinstitutionen begegnet werden, wie zum Beispiel einem Polizeibeauftragten mit besonderen Kontrollbefugnissen.

Der Umgang der Polizei mit Oury Jalloh bereits in den letzten Stunden vor seinem Tod verdeutlicht erneut die Dehumanisierung schwarzer Menschen in diesem Land. Die beginnt nicht erst in Polizeizellen. Das Dessauer Urteil allerdings ist Wasser auch auf die Mühlen des alltäglichen Rassismus.

gez. Bernd Mesovic, Referent, 09. Dezember 2008

Über das Versagen des Rechtsstaates in Deutschland

Pressemitteilung des Afrika- Rates Berlin zu den Freisprüchen vom 08. Dez 2008 im Prozess zum Tod von Oury Jalloh in einer Polizeizelle in Dessau.

Pressemitteilung zu den Freisprüchen im Falle Oury Jalloh
"Über das Versagen des Rechtsstaates in Deutschland"

(Berlin 09.12.2008) Wie im Falle :: Ndeye Mariem Sarr, :: Laye Conde, :: Dominique Koumadio ist im Falle des qualvoll verbrannten Asylbewerbers Oury Jalloh vor knapp vier Jahren in einer Polizeizelle in Dessau-Roßlau das Gerichtsverfahren mit einem Freispruch für die beiden angeklagten Polizisten zu Ende gegangen.

Oury Jalloh starb am 07. Januar 2005 gefesselt an den Händen und Füßen auf einer feuerfesten Matratze in einem Polizeirevier in Dessau. Er verbrannte bis zur Unkenntlichkeit und bekam keine Hilfe von den diensthabenden angeklagten Polizisten.

Zahlreiche Widersprüche und Lügen der Angeklagten, Einschüchterungen der Nebenkläger, Vertuschungen und die Unterdrückung von Beweisen sind nur einige der Vorwürfe, die während des Prozesses geäußert wurden. Die Geschichte hat sich erneut wiederholt: angeklagte deutsche Polizisten werden trotz erheblicher Indizien von ihrer Verantwortung für den Tod an einem Schwarzen Afrikaner freigesprochen.

Kein Verantwortlicher dieser Tat wird letztendlich gefunden. Dass aufgrund von widersprüchlichen Aussagen der Angeklagten das Geschehen nicht habe aufgeklärt werden können, ist ein weiterer Hohn für den Verstorbenen Oury Jalloh und seine Familie. Sowohl Anwälte der Familie Oury Jalloh als auch der Vorsitzende Richter sind sich darüber einig: die Polizei hat auf übelste Art das Gerichtsverfahren torpediert, so dass der Tod Oury Jallohs nicht aufgeklärt werden konnte. Dies ist ein Skandal für die deutsche Justiz, ein Schlag ins Gesicht des Rechtsstaates Deutschland und ein Schlag für die Menschenrechte.

Am 10. Dezember 2008 jährt sich die Verabschiedung der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte durch die Generalversammlung der Vereinten Nationen zum 60. Mal. Der Kampf um die Rechte der Menschen ist aber auch heute in Deutschland, 60 Jahre danach, noch eine gewaltige Aufgabe und Herausforderung: die Rechte der Schwarzen und der Menschen afrikanischer Herkunft werden in Deutschland nach wie vor weiterhin mit Füßen getreten und nicht anerkannt.

Für uns alle, Schwarze und Menschen mit afrikanischer Herkunft ist das 60. Jubiläum der Verabschiedung der Erklärung der Menschenrechte durch die Generalversammlung der Vereinten Nationen nach diesem Urteil im Falle Oury Jalloh kein Anlass zur Feier in Deutschland, sondern zur massiven Empörung und zum Protest. Deutschland hat wieder gezeigt, welche Rechte diesen Gruppen zustehen und zugestanden werden. Dies ist sichtbar bei den vielen ähnlichen Fällen, die stets wie im Falle Oury Jalloh enden.

Wir akzeptieren daher die o. g. Freisprüche im Falle Oury Jalloh nicht und fordern eine internationale unabhängige Kommission für die Aufklärung des Todes von Oury Jalloh. Der Afrika-Rat wird jede Initiative unterstützen, die für die Wahrheit und die Gerechtigkeit in diesem Fall und in anderen Fällen eintritt.

Afrika Rat Berlin

Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh baut eine unabhängige Kommission auf
Donnerstag, 12. März 2009 von initiativeouryjalloh
An die Presse
An die Öffentlichkeit
Berlin/Dessau, den 10. März 2009
- Ziele der unabhängigen internationalen Kommission Oury Jalloh
- Zusammensetzung der Kommission
- die weiteren Schritte
Die Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh organisierte in Hannover am 6. und 7. März 2009 zwei Vorbereitungstreffen für den Aufbau einer “unabhängigen internationalen Kommission Oury Jalloh“.
Die Kommission setzt sich zum Ziel, die wahre Geschichte von Oury Jallohs Leben in den Flüchtlingslagern von Sachsen-Anhalt, die Umstände um seinen Tod, sowie die Vertuschung und Verschleierung bei den Ermittlungen seitens staatlicher Behörden aufzuklären und offen zu legen. Selbst Richter Steinhoff sprach bei der Urteilsverkündung am 8. 12. 08 davon, dass man “nicht die Chance auf ein rechtstaatliches Verfahren, auf die Aufklärung des Sachverhalts“ hatte. Dieses ist jedoch nur ein Resultat auffallend einseitiger Ermittlungen. Von Anfang an gingen die ermittelnden Behörden von der am wenigsten wahrscheinlichen Hypothese aus, nämlich dass Oury Jalloh sich selbst umgebracht haben soll.
Sinn und Ziel dieser „ unabhängigen internationalen Kommission Oury Jalloh“ soll es sein, die eklatanten Widersprüche schonungslos zu untersuchen, und Antworten auf die elementaren, offen gebliebenen Fragen zu finden.
Diese Kommission wird sich aus forensischen ExpertInnen zusammensetzen, aber auch aus JuristInnen, MedizinerInnen, SoziologInnen, etc. . An ihr werden ebenfalls VertreterInnen einiger Nichtregierungsorganisationen teilnehmen sowie Familienmitglieder der Opfer von Polizeibrutalität bzw. -mord.
Motivation für die aktive Teilnahme an der „ unabhängigen internationalen Kommission Oury Jalloh“ ist die tiefe Besorgnis um den staatlichen Willen, Unrecht an Menschen vom Rand der Gesellschaft aufzuklären und die Verantwortlichen zu stellen.
Als ersten Schritt hat die Arbeitsgruppe für den Aufbau der “unabhängigen internationalen Kommission Oury Jalloh“ mit der Erstellung einer Dokumentation begonnen, die in Kürze erscheinen wird. Weiterhin werden JuristInnen die Urteilsbegründung, die in diesem Monat veröffentlicht wird, analysieren und im Namen der Kommission eine Stellungnahme zum Gerichtsverfahren geben. Die Arbeitsgruppe wird in den kommenden Monaten den Aufbau der unabhängigen internationalen Kommission forcieren, interessierte und kritische Menschen und Organisationen ansprechen und sie ermutigen, an der Arbeit der Kommission mitzuwirken.
Anfang Mai wird die Arbeitsgruppe in einem ersten größeren Treffen ihre Arbeit präsentieren und die konkrete Umsetzung mit der Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh planen.
Für Rückfragen und weitere Informationen stehen wir gerne bereit.

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


What do you esteem the most important lacking of the court process? Did you expect another decision of the court?

Last question first. Yes, in fact I did expect another decision from the court. This is not because I believe the court is there to provide truth and justice, as well they should, but because the truth of Oury's murder is so clear and because the pressure and energy which the initiative managed to put on the authorities and sustain for such a long period of time would force the court's hand. In the end, these decisions are political and not juridical; the court had the opportunity to question the background of the two accused rather than Oury Jalloh as a person; the court could have demanded a deeper investigation as to the missing and tampered with evidence; the court could have punished the police officers for lying and covering up the truth of this crime, etc. The fact that it didn't has nothing to do with law, legality or justice and everything to do with a racist structure based on the defense of Germany's institutions no matter how cruel, racist or criminal they may be.

I believe it is easy to look back and regret that which has happened in the past and which we can no longer change, but when I think of "the most important aspect lacking in the court process" I question myself as to why I did not do more to be more vocal inside of the court, why I allowed myself to suffer through the excrutiating process of sitting quietly and obediently and observe what from day one of the proceedings was very clearly a "show trial". Nevertheless, I limit that criticism to myself and to no one else as I believe we can only be responsible for that which we ourselves do and cannot demand of others what we ourselves are not doing.

On the other hand, I think we should have been much more aggressive with the lawyers from the very beginning. This includes the fact that I believe we should have had someone of trust with a legal background working directly with the lawyer as our direct representative, as our voice. Unfortunately, we let the lawyers get out of control and in the end they wound up taking their own path, which became less and less critical as time went by. When we finally decided to challenge them more forcefully, it was already too late.

Finally, I believe we should have done a better job of documenting the proceedings and not just relying on the group of Marco Steckel to do what they were incapable of doing from the very beginning: provide a critical analysis of the circumstances of Oury's death and, more concretely, to called it by its name: a murder.

Again, however, it is easy to look back and simply say what we could have done better, and there are definitely many things we could have done better, but I strongly believe that we did the best we could and what we have achieved until now is very impressing and humbling. While being able to recognize and admit to our errors, mistakes, missed opportunities, etc., I believe that we should first and foremost be very proud of the dignity, sacrifice and courage that has characterized this campaign from the very beginning.

How do you evaluate the work done by the lawyers?

At the beginning I was very happy with the fact that, so I thought, we had some of the best lawyers in Germany working on this case and that they were doing so in joint collaboration with the initiative as both the force behind the campaign and the representatives of the family. I believe that too a certain extent and up until a certain point in time that the lawyers did in fact do good work. I think, however, that they became tired and overwhelmed by the depth of the case, the tenacity of the authorities to conceal the truth and, perhaps most importantly, the critical position which they would have need to have in order to truly challenge the machinations of the authorities to deny Oury's family the truth and justice they need and deserve.

I also think that, beyond the personal beliefs, behavior or thoughts of the lawyers, the real problem with what happened with the lawyers is structural in nature. In other words, I am not sure if any other outcome would have been possible with the exception that we would have found lawyers who were willing to disrupt the proceedings (and subsequently risk their careers) in order to alter the course of the proceedings. I do not know if any such lawyers even exist in Germany at the time, but the very nature of their work makes it very, very difficult for them to choose that path (that's why they have choosen to be lawyers). As the pressure grew on them from all sides, they identified themselves with the judge rather than with the initiative, whom they considered ignorant and uncapable of "understanding" the entire leagl procedure.

A major turning point in our relationship with the lawyers came once the trial was announced. At that time, Kai Wendel came in to help establish the international observers. For whatever reason they may have had, practically all contact between the lawyers and the initiative was stopped and everything went through Kai. Kai never believed that Oury Jalloh was murdered and tried to hijack the message of the initiative away from "Das war Mord" to something else unintelligble to supposedly be able to reach the German public. He was supported in this by the lawyers and thereafter contact--much less cooperation--with the lawyers was rare.

In the end, the position of the lawyers was transformed (if that is actually what happen, but I do think so) into a complete support of the proceedings as such and in particular with the work of Steinhoff. Through their distancing of themselves to the initiative, through their incapacity or unwillingness to be more critical of their profession and the attempts at cover-up, they became willing accomplices of the court. One of the most telling moments in this process was when Ulrich informed the initiative that all of our concerns would be included in their closing statement and that the trial in itself was successful.

I would be curious to know what their position is now and how they responded to the written judgement from Steinhoff.

What more do you think could have been done on the part of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh to force another outcome based on truth and justice?

I think I mostly answered this question above. I strongly believe that, if done right, the independent commission could actually achieve what we have not been able to achieve through the court.

What shall be done in the commission, what are some of the most important actions for you/ your group?

Right now I don't feel like I can personally contribute too much but am willing to do whatever I can. I strongly feel that a primary objective of the commission should be to arrange for technical experts to review the case in terms of: 1) the lighter; 2) the autopsy, e.g. cause of death, distribution of burns on the body, etc.; 3) the mattress.
Do you have practical experience with the work of an independent commission for examination/ investigation in a political or racist case, or do you have knowledge about a commission in the past? If you do, can you briefly tell about it?

I do not have any experience working with independent commissions. I did try and contact a group in England on several occassions. The name of the group is Inquest ( Unfortunately they never returned my calls or e-mails but I think they may be a very important contact in terms of being able to give good advice and perhaps even establishing contact with independent experts.

What are your expectations to the commission in planning – e.g. on the level of the juridical development in Germany?

Absolutely nothing, unless the commission is capable of discovering some new piece of evidence that could force a new trial.

What are your expectations to the commission in planning – concerning the social development in Germany?

My biggest hope would be that it would give others courage to stand up, speak out and break the silence regarding state abuse and violence. In particular, I think of Sylvia, Dominique's sister.

Did you participate in the conference at Hannover in march 2009? How do you esteem the talk and the first results of the disputations there?
Who is suitable or obligatory to participate in the commission, do you have any preferences or concrete suppositions?


What do you believe the goals of the independent commission should be and to whom should the demands be addressed (courts, political institutions, etc.)?

The primary objective of the commission should be to establish the truth regarding Oury's murder. It should be directed at many different actors: 1) refugees and migrants; 2) direct victims of racist police violence; 3) society as a whole; 4) state institutions.

Is there, for you or your initiative, a relation between the work of an independent commission or Political Tribunal Platform and the political street-actions, e.g. demonstration?

I believe the two have to be separated somewhat so that the commission remains an independent investigative body. That said, this does not exclude that some of the participants in the commission, i.e. the initiative in memory of oury jalloh, caravan, etc., carry out direct actions and informational events in promotion of the commission and in order to strengthen it politically.

Are there differences between the two forms of acting, what do they mean for you?

They are complementary and both are absolutely necessary at the moment.
What will be your form of participation in the commission?

Not sure.

Who would you like to be your contact person for further work and how should we best contact you?