Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No Refugee is Criminal - Deportation is Collective Crime and Corruption

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

Appeal for Refugee Community Network from: Konradsreuth – Bayern

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

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

Miloud Lahmar Cherif von Beleidigungsvorwurf gegen rassistisch kontrollierende Bundespolizisten freigesprochen

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

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

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

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

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

O-platz Berlin Bus Tour 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep On - Close down Breitenworbis refugee isolation camp in Thüringen


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOR THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

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

Refugee Protest Actions - United Against Colonial Injustice

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

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

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

Panel Roma ( Refugee Tribunal )

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

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

Bad Mergentheim and Külsheim Refugees Protest in Stuttgart


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

The Lager Watch Group on Eisenhüttenstadt - Stop Deportation Factory!

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

LIBERATION BUS TOUR – FINALER AKTIONSTAG IN STUTTGART

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

Bundesweite Kampagne und Netzwerk Bericht über Aktivitäten und Unterstützungsaufruf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video Collection of Refugee Testimony and Appeals from Liberation Bus

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

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

Aufruf zur öffentlichen Prozessbeobachtung im Asylverfahren von Salomon Wantchoucou

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

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

Break Isolation Strike in Refugee Lagers - camps

PRENZLAU: Protest against racist attacks of Refugees

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

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

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

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

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

Action in Thüringen

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

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

Polizei kriminalisiert Treffen in Thüringer Flüchtlingsheimen und belagert das Grünowski

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

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

Thousands of balloons - World Wide Roma Day

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

Pressemitteilung von Miloud Lahmar Cherif zur Situation seiner Familie in Deutschland

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

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

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

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

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

Refugee Workshop in Berlin Protestcamp

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

Interviews in English and French:

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * * * * *

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

Video: Dessau 7.01.2013 - Oury Jalloh Demonstration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austine and the Residenzpflicht

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

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

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

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

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

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English Archives: Sunny Omwenyeke on Residenzpflicht

Hello!

Yesterday morning, Tuesday 21st of December, Sunny was surprisingly released from prison three days ahead of the scheduled date.

Officially the reason was a so called "Christmas amnesty", but we are quite sure that his release was connected with the rising public pressure and the announced demonstration, in the sense that the authorities wanted to show that they were not as bad as we claim. One day before the demo, they even tried to persuade us to stop the rally in front of the prison. But we still carried through the demonstration and the rally in front of the prison, it was just that we had a one participant more - Sunny.

In spite of the cold about 70 people had come together, among them many refugees from other cities. After an opening speech by Sunny we moved from the Ziegenmarkt up to the court building where Sunnys Residenzpflicht trial had taken place last year. In another speech in front of the court we heard a summary with the "highlights" of the trial, including several scandalous statements by the judge Wolfgang Rathke which betrayed a lot the ignorance and fundamentally racist attitude of many German judges. The final rally took place at Domshof. The Voice activist Cornelius Yufani, also punished for the violation of the Residenzpflicht, made a strong appeal to all present not to bow to this law and resist it until it will be abolished.
After the demonstration in the city center a bigger group carried on to the prison in Oslebshausen to also make their protest against Sunnys imprisonment heard there. In addition, there was a general solidarity address towards all prisoners which was read out in several languages.

Below you find a very short article about Sunny and the demo in the "taz" of today.

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Prison Sentence for Residence Obligation Law

Appeal goes to the European Court of Human Rights

Sunny Omwenyeke, human rights activist from Nigeria and activist of the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants from Bremen has to go to prison because of violating the residence obligation law. He has been ordered to report to the prison in Oslebshausen latest on the 9.12.2004.

The whole case began in 2000 when the foreigner’s office in Wolfsburg refused him a permission to attend a refugee and migrant congress in Jena of which he was central to the preparation. The recognised political refugee could not accept this arbitrary political sensure and went to Jena nevertheless. On the way the police controlled his passport.
Consequently, he was fined but refused to pay as result of the dscriminating character of the residence obligation law. Rather, he and other members of The VOICE Refugee Forum and the Caravan initiated Civil Disobedience Campaign against the residenzpflicht. „We will continue to appeal against this punishment until this law is abolished“ said Omwenyeke. Since then there has been series of cases in the local court against the residence law.
In the case of Omwenyeke, who meanwhile is studying International Relations at the International University Bremen, the Bremen Public Prosecutors reopened the file which was already closed in the local court of Wolfsburg. And this was even at a time when he was already recognised as a political refugee. After several court dates he was on the 9th of October, 2003 fined again which he appealed against.
Meanwhile the Constitutional also refused to entertain the case without giving any substantial reasons-meaning all possible legal remedies in Germany has been exhausted. „Its impossible for me to pay for such a discriminating law, it is absolutely against my conviction and principle–I’ll rather go to prison upright than bow to injustice“. No other countries in the world which calls itself democratic has such a law. „Only the pass law in former Apartheid South Africa is comparable which has luckily been abolished“ said the Caravan activist. The imprisonment order is now issued and Omwenyeke is ready to report to the prison on Friday December, 10th.

Against this German violation of human rights, Omwenyeke with a team of International lawyers has just made an appeal against the Federal Republic of Germany at the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.

Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants
Bernhardstr. 12 · 28203 Bremen
Karawane_Bremen at web.de
http://thecaravan.org
link: http://www.thevoiceforum.org

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Bremen, 10th of December 2004, international day of human rights

Our friend Sunny went to prison today. At 6pm he reached the prison of Bremen. The Guards checked his passport and then they opened the gate. We (Sunny and 7 people acompaning him) enterd the gate and the guards immediatedly got rude. So we had just a very short time to say good bye to our friend. Now he is inside there and we don't hava any idea how he is right now. You can't just give phone him and the visits are very complicated to arrange. What may have appeared as extraordinary vacations in the first place, going to prison for 15 days – on christmass he comes out again, now shows its anti human character. But Sunny is ready to face this as long as a racist law like residenzpflicht (landkreis) exists.

Never he would be ready to pay a fine for having gone to Jena for participating in a refugee congress in 2000 just because Mr. Pils of the Wolfsburg foreigners police (Ausländerbehörde) did not feel like to let him go there.

In the next days we will start a fax campaign and further actions to support Sunny and to fight the apartheid Residenzpflicht law before christmass. Therefore we will have a meeting on tuesday 8pm in Paradox.
You are invited to come.

We will keep you informed.

What you can do to support Sunny is to write him a letter of solidarity.

His current adress is:

Sunday Omwenyeke
Justizvollzugsanstalt Bremen
Sonnemannstrasse 2
28239 Bremen

Prison Sentence for Residence Obligation Law

Appeal goes to the European Court of Human Rights

Sunny Omwenyeke, human rights activist from Nigeria and activist of the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants from Bremen has to go to prison because of violating the residence obligation law. He has been ordered to report to the prison in Oslebshausen latest on the 9.12.2004.

The whole case began in 2000 when the foreigner’s office in Wolfsburg refused him a permission to attend a refugee and migrant congress in Jena of which he was central to the preparation. The recognised political refugee could not accept this arbitrary political sensure and went to Jena nevertheless. On the way the police controlled his passport.
Consequently, he was fined but refused to pay as result of the dscriminating character of the residence obligation law. Rather, he and other members of The VOICE Refugee Forum and the Caravan initiated Civil Disobedience Campaign against the residenzpflicht. „We will continue to appeal against this punishment until this law is abolished“ said Omwenyeke. Since then there has been series of cases in the local court against the residence law.
In the case of Omwenyeke, who meanwhile is studying International Relations at the International University Bremen, the Bremen Public Prosecutors reopened the file which was already closed in the local court of Wolfsburg. And this was even at a time when he was already recognised as a political refugee. After several court dates he was on the 9th of October, 2003 fined again which he appealed against.
Meanwhile the Constitutional also refused to entertain the case without giving any substantial reasons-meaning all possible legal remedies in Germany has been exhausted. „Its impossible for me to pay for such a discriminating law, it is absolutely against my conviction and principle–I’ll rather go to prison upright than bow to injustice“. No other countries in the world which calls itself democratic has such a law. „Only the pass law in former Apartheid South Africa is comparable which has luckily been abolished“ said the Caravan activist. The imprisonment order is now issued and Omwenyeke is ready to report to the prison on Friday December, 10th.

Against this German violation of human rights, Omwenyeke with a team of International lawyers has just made an appeal against the Federal Republic of Germany at the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.

Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants
Bernhardstr. 12 · 28203 Bremen
Karawane_Bremen at web.de
http://thecaravan.org
link: http://www.thevoiceforum.org
+++

TESTIMONY TO THE EFFECTS OF MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS IN 2001

Sunny Omwenyeke, an asylum seeker from Nigeria, and member of the refugee organisation THE VOICE, describes living with movement restrictions in Germany.

I came to Germany from Nigeria and claimed asylum in June 1998. I was put in a transit camp in Hanover and told I cannot go beyond that locality. After a couple of months I was transferred to a permanent camp in Wolfsburg. On getting to the permanent camp, I was made to sign a document which compelled me, like all other asylum seekers to accept the law restricting my movement. In it, it is stated that an individual could be made to pay as much as 5000 DM for travelling without a permit. If I want to leave the permitted area, I need to go to the local Foreigners Office and tell them the address of where I want to go, why and for how long. Even if it is 5 minutes drive away, you still have to answer these questions. Sometimes they grant you a permit to go beyond the permitted area and sometimes you are refused on the grounds that you are supposed to remain in the camp. In some places, asylum seekers who only receive 80 DM cash in a month are also compelled to pay as much as 10-20 DM for such permission.

This system causes a number of difficulties for asylum seekers. For example, in the camp I knew a woman with two children whose husband arrived later and was put in another camp in another district. She was refused permission to travel to visit him. The only way they could meet was by travelling illegally and eventually she was caught by the police. She was given a warning only, but I know of many other cases where people were fined and even sent to prison for travelling without permission. I had a friend who needed to visit an African shop in a nearby city to get some African foodstuffs. He was denied permission and although he defied it he was controlled in the process and had to pay some fine. I remember asking if I could have a permit to visit some friends who lived about 10 minutes journey away and being refused. I asked the officials under what conditions might I be allowed to visit them and was told - none. The official told me that I may only leave in an emergency. On another occasion I asked if I could leave to visit my lawyer. I was told that permission would only be granted if I could show a letter from my lawyer confirming the meeting or ask the lawyer to call the office and inform them of my appointment. In Germany asylum seekers have to pay their own legal costs and paying the lawyer to write such a letter is expensive. In such cases you feel compelled to travel illegally and when you are controlled by the police in the process, you are recorded as having committed a criminal act. This will be later added to the statistics of 'foreigners with high criminal records' by the police and the politicians.

Many problems arise because, whatever the general rule is meant to be, the decision is made by the officer on duty acting alone and whether or not you get the permit depends on his mood. Once the officials think that you might be travelling for political reasons, they become antagonistic. It is impossible to travel to meetings of your country organisation because if you say you want to meet with other Nigerian people in another city they are likely to say that is political. It seems to me that the authorities are concerned that asylum seekers might be involved in political campaigns for human rights in their home country which will damage German business interests in that country.

When I arrived in Wolfsburg towards the end of 1999, I sought and obtained permission to attend meetings and activities of THE VOICE which is an African community group and a member organisation of the anti - fascist alliance “The Caravan For the Rights of Refugees and Migrants in Germany”. After a while, the authorities realised I was seriously involved in the organisation of the group as well as being vocal in terms of the refugee situation here in Germany. From then on I was refused a travel permit irrespective of the reasons given for the trip. I decided to continue to travel whether I had a permit or not.

In 1999 it was agreed that The Caravan would hold an International Refugee Congress from 20th April to 1st May, 2000. THE VOICE was chosen to organise and coordinate the Congress in conjunction with The International Human Rights Association, Bremen-which is the Coordinating office of The Caravan. THE VOICE has its headquarters in Jena, Thuringen (East Germany.) As an active member of THE VOICE I travelled from Wolfsburg to attend many preparatory meetings and was Secretary of the Organising Committee. After one of the preparatory meetings in Jena, I was stopped inside the train by the police when I was returning to my camp. This was after my application to obtain a permission had been refused. My identity was copied and reported to the Foreigners Office who sent me a letter warning me that I would be fined as much as 5000 DM or one year in prison or both if I continued to travel without permission. I ignored the warning and decided to apply again for permission, this time with a supporting letter from the head of the Federal Office in charge of Foreigners (Auslanderbeauftragte) who urged all local foreigner offices to grant permission to all asylum seekers who wanted to attend the Congress. My request to attend the Congress was refused. I asked my lawyer to take my case to court to ask for a permit but the court refused saying that they were right to have refused me permission as it was not important for me to attend the Congress. I was very disappointed but I went to the Congress anyway, without a permit. At the same time, some politicians threatened that asylum seekers who attended the congress without permits faced being put in prison, but many defied them. At the Congress which was attended by about 1000 people from 40 countries, refugees and migrants were able to exchange ideas and experiences. In the process, it became very clear that the restriction of asylum seekers' movement was inhibiting their ability to meet and discuss their common problems-both in their home countries and here in Europe. I was becoming more and more aware of the suffering caused by freedom of movement problems. Asylum seekers couldn’t be happy, couldn’t be with their family or friends and couldn’t live a normal life as a human being under these restrictions. Consequently, after various workshops which were held on the topic during the Congress, it was recommended that asylum seekers protest against this restriction by engaging in civil disobedience. This recommendation was unanimously adopted and thence, asylum seekers decided not to ask for permission anymore.

In July 2000 President Khatami of Iran visited Berlin and Weimar and a protest was organised in support of the many refugees from Iran living in Germany, which I attended. For travelling to Weimar without a permit I was controlled again and my papers were confiscated. The City of Wolfsburg then wrote to inform me that I had been fined the sum of 300 DM and if I couldn’t pay, I would spend 30 days in prison. I appealed against the decision to the court and a date was set for the hearing. The hearing was in The Lower Court (Amtsgericht) in Wolfsburg on 6th February, 2001. The press gave it good coverage and a lot of people were mobilised to attend the court hearing. I had support from many different people and organisations, there was African drumming outside the courthouse and 70 people attended the court hearing to show solidarity and protest against the restrictions - it was overwhelming.

My lawyer moved that the prosecutor had no case against me since I had sought and obtained permissions before from the same office but that now, the officers there deliberately refused to issue me a permission (6 previous copies of permissions were exhibited) because they wanted to stifle my political activities by preventing me from travelling and talking about the problems in Nigeria as well as the deplorable condition of asylum seekers in Germany. The case was closed without formal discussion because of a lack of public interest in punishment. My lawyer secured the consent of the presiding Judge that the State should be responsible for my legal fees because, according to her, the case involved a violation of my rights. The Judge said that there are provisions for any asylum seeker to obtain a permit and if the local foreigners office refused to grant a permission it was my right to seek redress through the courts.

Since then I have continued to break the rules and the City of Wolfsburg has not restricted my movement. I am committed to do so because I am not someone who accepts injustice. I campaigned against injustice in Nigeria although it was difficult to do so there because then it was a military regime. Germany is a country where you are supposed to be able to express your views but the authorities do not want to hear about the injustices of their system when they feel they are being generous in accepting you as an asylum seeker.

Of course I worried that my campaigning would affect my asylum application but I couldn’t let that deter me. I believe in acting according to a good conscience. I have been told that in my case the Judge has granted me UN refugee status but until now, the written and official decision has not been communicated to me. The protests against movement restrictions have continued, for example we held demonstrations in Berlin for three days in May 2001. Before then we also staged a very successful demonstration in Hanover, on October 3rd 2000. Here, we were showing that while the entire world was being invited to participate in Expo 2000 in Hanover, asylum seekers were being denied the opportunity of crossing the government-set boundaries. We also wanted to show that while the Germans were celebrating the unity of East and West Germany as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall, stronger walls were deliberately constructed for the confinement of asylum seekers. These protests have been successful in raising public awareness. Many German people have told me that until now they did not know about the way in which the authorities treat asylum seekers. My case has also had a positive outcome in encouraging other asylum seekers to stand up and fight for their rights. Our efforts have failed to influence the position of the German authorities, who remain committed to freedom of movement restrictions. One of our main concerns is that under the anti - terrorism measures our rights will be further curtailed so that we are unable to continue to protest.

2001 http://www.ecre.org/policy/research_papers.sht
see more info: http://www.thecaravn.org
link: http://www.thevoiceforum.org
++

The following is an informal protocol and notes of:

THE TRIAL OF SUNNY OMWENYEKE IN WOLFSBURG FOR VIOLATING THE PASS LAW ”RESIDENZPFLICHT” IN GERMANY.

The trial which started at about 10:15 am began with the presiding judge; Gunther Weigmann going through the personal resume of Sunny Omwenyeke (the defendant) and asked the public prosecutor (PP) if he had any further question in this respect. The public prosecutor had no questions. The judge then read the allegations against Sunny Omwenyeke; that:

1) On the 10th of April, 2000 inside an Inter Regio train between Magdeburg and Braunschweig, the boarder police from Helmstedt controlled him without a permission to leave his local district (Landkreis). 2) On the 12th of July, 2000 the police in the City of Weimar controlled him in the City without a permission to be there. The judge then asked the defendant if he had anything to say in response to these charges. To this the defendant said yes and proceeded to narrate the circumstances that led him to break the law.
The judge interrupted and wanted to know first, if the above stated controls actually took place.
The defendant said yes.
The defence counsel (DC) Ms Gabriele Heinecke, said that under the law he has to be given the chance to explain.
Judge: What was the Congress and the demonstration in Weimar about?
Defendant: The demonstration in Weimar was organised by The Caravan?for the rights of refugees and migrants of which I am a member. The Caravan is a conglomeration of different refugee and migrant groups which is fighting for the welfare of refugees and migrants in this country. The VOICE is a member of The Caravan. In The Caravan, there are people of different nationalities including Iranians. This demonstration was organised to protest the state visit of President Khatami of Iran to Weimar. The Refugee Congress in Jena was also organisesd by The Caravan and was hosted by The VOICE in Jena.
Judge: Let me get it right, when you were controlled in the train did you ask for permission, and when it was not successful, did you contest it in the court?
Defendant: First, I like to say that when I was posted to the City of Wolfsburg in November, 1998, I was made to understand and sign that if I needed to leave the City for any reason, I should ask and shall be given a permission to do so. It was in line with this that I applied for permissions to attend my various political engagements outside Wolfsburg. These permissions were granted me including one which permitted me to stay in Jena for a week.. With me here are the permissions I just talked about. (Defendant displaying the permissions) But when the officials of the foreigners office realised the intensity of my engagement, they did not like it and wanted to restrict me by denying me the permission to leave the City of Wolfsburg. On various occasions, I had heated arguments with the head of the foreigners office Mr Werner Pils who insisted that as long as he was in that office I will never be allowed to leave the City of Wolfsburg. He said this was because I belonged to The VOICE and The Caravan which were fighting the government of this country. I had so much difficulty in this regard that I had to discuss it with the Mayor of the City; Ms Ingrid Ecke on two occasions. The Congress was between 20th April and 1st May, 2000. As Secretary to the Organising Committee, I needed to attend the preparation meetings. I applied for permission but was refused. I nevertheless attended the meeting and it was on my return that I was controlled in the train. And for the Congress proper, I applied again with about 18 other refugees from my camp with the support letter of Marie?Louise Beck of the Auslännderbeauftragte in Berlin, urging the foreigners office to grant permission to all refugees willing to attend the Congress but we were all still refused.
Judge: When you were denied permission did you contest it in the court?
Defendant: I did not contest the denial of the permission to attend the preparation meetings but I did contest the denial of permission to attend the Congress proper.
The policeman who did the control in the train walks in with Ms Manduca of the foreigners office who stood in for Ms Hörnig; the prosecution witness.
Judge: Do you need the witness of the police officer who controlled you in the train?
Defendant: No. Thereafter, the judge released the police officer but asked Ms Manduca to wait outside the courtroom.
Judge: On the Congress in Jena, when the application was refused, did you contest it in the court?
Defendant: I placed an appeal before the court through my lawyer who had earlier written the foreigners office asking them to issue me a permission to attend the Congress. When I was refused even by the court, I did not appeal against their decision.
Judge: What was the result?
Defendant: The court did not find it necessary that I take part in this Congress, although I had to speak on the political situation in Nigeria at the Congress.
Judge: Did you appeal against this judgement?
Defendant: I did not because the decision came too late.
DC: The decision was not subject to appeal.
Judge: Did you have a lawyer in the case?
Defendant: Yes.
Judge: After the decision of the court, did you still attend the congress or not?
Defendant: Given my position and the role I had to play in the Congress, I had no alternative than to attend. So, I attended the Congress without any permission.
Judge: After having approached the Mayor of the City and with the letter of Marie?Louise Beck of the Ausländerbeauftragte, did you apply for permission again?
Defendant: After my contacts with the Mayor who promised to intervene, I made more applications but they were all rejected.
Judge: After the court rejected your application to attend the congress in Jena did you still apply?
Defendant: After the application was denied even with the letter of Ms Beck, I did not apply anymore because, it did not make any sense.
Judge: You mentioned the conversation with Mr. Pils, where he said as long as he was there, you could not get any permission. What time was that?
Defendant: I cannot remember exactly but each time I approached his officers and they refused, I always demanded to see him and always spoke to him.
Judge: Do you have any writing from Frau Beck in Berlin?
Defendant: I don’t have it here but I have a copy at home.
Judge: The application you made was it verbal or in writing?
Defendant: What I understood was that to ask for permission, you present the programme or the invitation, and that was how I got the ones I got before.
Judge: Do you have a notice of rejection?
Defendant: They never put it in writing. The only exception was when my lawyer wrote for me and it was also refused, it was after that that we went to court.
The judge then asked the PP if he had any question for the defendant. He said he had none.

Defendant‘s Cross-Examination by Defence Counsel: Ms Gabriele Heinecke.

DC: How far is your asylum process?
Defendant: I have already been called to the court on 30th November, 2000 but no decision has yet been taken.
DC: And after two years or even more, there is nothing by the foreigners office to show that you could go to any where you liked within the country or at least loosen the restriction?
Defendant: Not until one is accepted, one cannot go anywhere without a permission. The restiction remains.
DC: You had been temporarily allowed to attend some programmes. (DC reads out past permissions the defendant got before and the programmes they were made for).
DC: You mentioned earlier on ”The VOICE” and ”The Caravan”. What are these organisations actually about?
Defendant: The VOICE is a refugee organisation, fighting for the rights and welfare of refugees. It is composed of refugees from different parts of the world, especially African refugees. The Caravan is a conglomeration of different refugee and migrant groups and The VOICE is a member of The Caravan.
DC: You mentioned earlier on that you are refused permission because the foreigners office says these organisations are working against Germany. Is it true that they are working against Germany?
Defendant: No! They work for the welfare and rights of refugees and migrants in this country.
DC: Does the Mayor recognise that you fight for the welfare of refugees?
Defendant: I guess so. I have had discussions with the mayor where we highlighted the problems of refugees and I believe she understood and that is why she wanted to intervene. DC: And the Ausländerbeauftragte?
Defendant: She recognised the work of The Caravan and that was why she wrote to all the foreigners Offices, asking them to give permission to refugees to attend the Congress in Jena.
DC: Can you say exactly when you had the discussion with the Mayor?
Defendant: After I led a demonstration to her office following the police control we had in the camp, I had an audience with her where I raised the issue. She promised to come and see us in the camp. Within two months, she actually came and there I brought up the issue again and she promised to talk to the officials at the foreigners office. But there were no changes.
DC: When did you talk to Frau Beck?
Defendant: I did not personally speak to her, but co?organisers of the Congress approached her after which she wrote to all foreigners offices in Germany to grant permission to refugees willing to attend the Congress in Jena.
DC: Did she directly write to the foreigners office?
Defendant: She wrote for all refugees to take to their various foreigners offices.
DC: In the Congress in Jena, you said you were the Secretary to the Organising Committee, do you have people to testify to your role in the Congress?
Defendant: I was the Secretary to the Organising Committee and here in this court right now, we have the Secretary General of The VOICE; Mr Theophilus Emiowele and The Co?ordinator of the Congress, Mr. Cornelius Yufanyi also of The VOICE.
DC: I like to cancel my mandate because we don’t know the reasons why the foreigners office did what they did. As regards the charges, he faces the chances of being criminalised because of his political commitment and engagements. The issues being raised here are about human rights and human dignity. I demand that he deserves a fair hearing. I apply that the defendant have a mandatory legal representation.

PP: The issues involved in this case are not as complicated as the DC is trying to portray it, I think Mr. Omwenyeke can defend himself.
DC: There are some private discussions as regards such issues. For example in the lower courts, it has been noted and recognised that it is against the dignity of man to keep somebody within a limited vicinity. So I am of the strong opinion that Mr. Omwenyeke cannot defend himself as a result of what is involved as well as the language and other complications.
Judge: Have you chosen a lawyer now? Do you want to continue with Ms Heinecke?
Defendant: Yes. Ms. Gabriele Heinecke.
Judge: The situation seems complicated, a law has been contravened, and for this reason you need a defence counsel. I rule that the motion for a mandatory DC is hereby granted.

Testimony of Ms Manduca (50) a staff of the foreigners office. She was invited into the courtroom by the Judge and she introduced herself and her occupation. She stated that she was standing in for her colleague; Ms Hörnig who could not be present. The DC consulted with the defendant and she was allowed to take the witness stand.

Ms Manduca: The whole issue is about leaving your station without permission.
Judge: Did the defendant apply to go to Weimar.
Ms. Manduca: No!
Judge: When did he apply last for permission?
Ms. Manduca: 4th April 2000.
Judge: In what form did he apply for the permission?
Ms. Manduca: According to the file here, it was a verbal application to attend a Congress in Jena and the application was not successful.
Judge: Was there a written decision?
Ms. Manduca: There was no written decision, but the lawyer had appealed and there was a decision.
Judge: Did the foreigners office take a position against this declination, what are the reasons of the foreigners office decision?
Ms. Manduca: She read out the position of the foreigners office. According to the law she said, the asylum seeker has no right to leave his officially designated residence, except for special reasons, which could mean the reason to take care of daily needs. In this instance, the defendant was asking for a permission to go to a Congress whose motto contradicted the basic legal conditions. For example, the theme of the Congress was ”Unite Against deportation” This shows he was engaging in activities to forestall his own pending deportation. There were no grounds to take care of any basic needs. Moreover the applicant was leaving for another federal state. This means that not only was he leaving his local district, he was leaving his state. It was a reason not to grant the permission. The conduct of the defendant for example, since he entered this country shows that he has been trying to avoid his own deportation. He refused to co?operate, he could not remember his name or where he kept his passport. At one point, he even occupied the foreigners office with about nine of his colleagues. Based on his conduct so far, it is suspected that the applicant is using permission to travel to avoid deportation and engage in actions that would obstruct his deportation. The second theme in the Congress reads: ”We Are Here Because You Destroy Our Countries”. This contradicts the German law and it was an attempt to wipe up the emotions of refugees throughout the country.

Under social marginalisation, one can understand why his social help was cut, especially when no identity was given. Such activities go against the law. The decision to deny him permission was not a hard one. One can also see that the organisations are acting against the constitution, by saying that ”We Are Here Because You Destroy Our Countries”. It meant that the emotions of the refugees were being played up and not to inform on refugee problems.
Judge: What about the previous applications the defendant made?
Ms. Manduca reads to the hearing of the court, previous permission obtained by the defendant and for what purposes.
Judge: The DC has tendered an application for the file to be made available.
Ms. Manduca: The file can be made available but it has to be seen by the DC in the presence of a staff of the foreigners office.

*A short argument on the right to look into the file without the presence of any staff of the foreigners office ensued between the DC and the Judge. The DC wanted the Judge to compel the foreigners office to submit the file but the Judge declined that he could not do that.

Finally, the Judge concluded that the issue will be settled later. This was followed by a break of about 45 mins.
Ms. Manduca later made available copies of the letter from the Ausländerbeauftragte in Berlin Frau Beck, in addition to two other copies of writings in the foreigners office file of the defendant.
Judge: During the break, the DC suggested that the case be closed because the charges are minimal. The suggestion of the DC is going to be looked into by the PP and the Judge will rule on it.
DC: It is possible under the law for me to suggest that the case be closed because the information presented by Ms. Manduca contains a lot of falsehood, because the defendant at no time tried to stop his deportation as there was no threat to that effect. I am of the opinion that the defendant because of his active political engagement had to ask for permission, and if he had been given these permission we would not have been here today in this court.
PP: I would not like to embark on the speculation that if the defendant had been given permission when he asked for, we would not have been sitting in this court today. When somebody is restricted to a place, he should remain there. But because the defendant had always asked for permissions to go for his political engagements and activities we could close this case without any further hearing and formal sentence.
The DC then moved a motion for a 15 mins. break to allow her consult with the defendant. This was accepted by the Judge. On resumption, the DC informed the Judge that the defendant will like to make the declaration himself. The judge accepted and gave the defendant the chance.

Defendant‘s Declaration

I accept the proposition by my lawyer to close the case. I will like to go to the Administrative Court to know why the foreigners office lied against me.
My lawyer will be ready to clarify the allegations of not co?operating with the police in respect of my identity and the foreigners office position on the issue of my deportation.

We shall also be appealing the decision to deny me permission to attend the Congress of last year.
That the court recognises that I would be permitted to go wherever I want to carry out my political activities, to enable me fulfil the reason why I am in this country, because my being here is for my political engagement.
The fact of this case exonerates me and I see it as a victory.
Judge cuts in. This is not correct, when I close the case, it does not mean that you are exonerated or free to go anywhere in the country without permission, but that the charges brought against you in this particular case have been agreed by both the DC and the PP to be dropped because, the guilt is minimal.
Defendant continues: I recognise this but nevertheless, I regard it as a victory that the charges are dropped and am not subject to any fines.
This decision today exposes the injustice of this law and it is very significant for my engagement. I therefore call on all my fellow refugees to get engaged to enhance our struggle to abolish this inhuman law which is a gross violation of our natural and fundamental human rights as it denies our freedom of movement.
Judge: I just want to know if you agreed to the suggestion of your lawyer. Just say yes or no. Defendant: Yes. I agree.
Judge: I’ll like to formally close this case. I will also like to say that I support your decision to further pursue the case in the Administrative Court. Furthermore, it is your right to carry out your political work through legal means. Should the authorities refuse to give you permissions, you can appeal their decisions and it is not in your interest to take the law into your hands. Your problem is with the foreigners office, and you should settle it with the Administrative Court. The charges are dropped and case closed with the cost of proceedings borne by the state.
The hearing which was punctuated by two breaks and attended by about one hundred and seventy refugees and supporters lasted about four hours.

NOTES.

At the end of the trial, supporters were addressed by Sunny Omwenyeke who thanked everybody present including the Press and those whose could not attend the hearing due to their schedule. He said a demonstration has been planned for the 19th of May, 2001 in Berlin to further show the will of refugees and their determination to see that the law is abolished. He said the decision today is clearly a victory for the engagements and struggle of the refugees and that weak as refugees are in this society, it is possible for refugees to fight for their rights and win in Germany. This, he said has been attested to by the proceedings and decision of the just concluded hearing. He therefore called on all refugees to be fully engaged in fighting peacefully to see to the abolishment of this law. Earlier in his address, he said the trial today no doubt should convince people of how mischievous the various foreigners offices can be by blatantly telling lies against innocent refugees.
Generally, the trial was closely watched by different supporting groups from all over the country and human rights organisations. The Caravan?for the rights of refugees and migrants on it's part, takes very seriously the declaration from the foreigners office that the way in which we use the slogan "we are here because you destroy our countries" is against the German constitution. This we feel marks the beginnings of a serious legal/political attack on the Caravan and we are preparing to defend ourselves.
-----------------

Your Honour,

MY STATEMENT

I stand before you today in defence of my humble self and my natural and civil rights to freedom of movement as a human being. Today I stand accused as a violator of the law and a criminal. Saying that I violated the law is to state the obvious. But I am not a criminal by any known standard; not even in the most primitive civil societies let alone in any developed society in the 21st century; except by this unique standard which is applicable only to refugees in this country, a country that prides itself as the most developed in the whole of Europe.

Before narrating the incidences that led to the violations for which I am now charged, I will quickly like to point out the meaning of the existence of this law (or a paragraph(s) of it) against the backdrop of it’s impact on innocent refugees. I cannot speculate on why the political leadership of the time enacted this law in 1982 (because, the official reasons aduced are simply too frivolous) but I can say definitely that it has been and remains the most effective means of criminalising refugees in this country for political reasons. The existence of this law makes even the most law?abiding refugee a criminal. It inherently criminalises refugees. This is because, it is forbidden for any refugee to leave his immediate district without a written permission from the foreigner’s office. Not only does this law violate the privacy and individuality of refugees, as it compels us to disclose our private plans and agenda to officers at the foreign offices ? who are strangers to our private lives, it is a circumvention and a violation in the most attrocious manner, of all international treaties to which Germany is a willing signatory, which borders on the dignity and freedom of a human being.

The lack of freedom of movement automatically impedes on my human dignity, my right to freedom of association and expression contrary to the provision and protection of same under the Geneva Convention, the European Community Human Rights Declaration and the German constitution. In the German constitution, provisions are made for the dignity of every human being to be respected and protected. I cannot imagine that when the writers of this constitution wrote this that they meant it only for Germans. They must have recognised that foreigners live in this country but never prescribed discrimination in the constitution as to how they should be treated, ( at least in respect of our human dignity and freedom of movement as a human being.) With it’s existence and enforcement, this law dehumanises and humiliates me. It discriminates against me and totally destroys my dignity as a human being contrary to the provisions of the constitution and treaties refered above.

When I was posted to Wolfsburg in November 1998, I was made to understand and compelled to sign that should I need to leave the territory of Wolfsburg, I shall need, ask and be given a permission from the foreigners’ office. It was against this background that I demanded permission to leave Wolfsburg a couple of days later. I sought and obtained the earliest permissions including one which permitted me to spend a week’s period in Jena for the International Human Rights Week of December 7th?12th 1998, which was hosted by The VOICE. Although this particular permission was not written for me due to bureacratic bottlenecks, my trip was nevertheless allowed. This was tested during the Week’s activities there in Jena when I was controlled by the police who called the foreigners’ office in Wolfsburg. They confirmed that I was allowed and I had no problems.

After this, I presented on different and countless occasions, invitations from various refugee groups and similar organisations to the foreigners’ office only to be denied the permission to leave Wolfsburg. This was because, they realised and were not comfortable with the intensity of my political engagement and wanted to curtail my political activism. Occasionally, when they felt happy and in good mood, they issued me the permission without any problem. This continued for a long time that I became fraustrated. I then began to ask the reasons for their refusal. From Mrs Schlichting to Mr. Maxara and Mr. Stahl to Mrs. Hörnig; they all insisted that they were not allowed to issue me any permission. The result of such refusals and my insistence led to my demand to speak with the head of the foreigners’ office. This was how I was led on several occasions to Mr. Werner Pils. The encounters were usually of heated arguments with him insisting on the refusals. On several occasions, I asked him pointedly, why I was being denied the permission to leave Wolfsburg and participate in the political activities which brought me to this country in the first place? He said that „unfortunately as a refugee in this country, I have absolutely no right to participate in politics: whether as it relates to my country or as it relates to my wellbeing here as a refugee“. He continued that „refusing to let me leave Wolfsburg is to ensure that I am restricted from further participation in any such activities“. He added that „my membership of The VOICE and The Caravan and the activities of these groups amounts to fighting the government of this country which has been magnanimous enough to host me“. He concluded that „as long as he remains in that office, I will never be allowed to leave Wolfsburg again“. When he said this, I told him that it was such repressions in Nigeria, coupled with the lack of freedom to express myself as well as the danger it constituted to my life that led to my flight from Nigeria and that he was painfully making me to re?live those sad and horrible experiences. So on the whole, I was only able to obtain permission eight times since November 1998 till date. (Attached are photocopies ). These of course includes the permission he was forced to issue when I was invited by the Federal Parliament in Berlin.

Given the humiliation, discrimination and denial which characterised virtually all my requests for permissions, I decided not to go back there and ask for permission anymore. However, when I assumed the position of Secretary to the Organising Committee for the Caravan International Refugee Congress, (20th April ? 1st May, 2000) which was hosted by my group; The VOICE, in Jena, I decided to apply again for permission for the benefit of doubt. I was refused permission by Frau Honing in consultation with Mr. Werner Pils. Given the workload in preparing for both local and international guests (over a thousand people attended the Congress), I had no option than to leave Wolfsburg without a permission to attend the preparation meetings in Jena. It was on my return from one of these preparation meetings that I was controlled inside the train between Magdeburg and Braunschweig on the 10th of April, 2000. For the Congress proper, I also applied for permission along with other refugees in Wolfsburg and we were all refused. This was inspite of the support letter from Frau Beck of the „Ausländerbeauftragte“ urging the foreigners’ office to issue permissions to all refugees willing to attend the Congress. Meanwhile, I had written invitations to many of our international guests across Europe, Asia, South and North America who all obtained visas with the invitations and attended the Congress.

In the course of the Congress, it was evidently clear that not only were refugees deliberately refused permissions to leave their districts, we were victims of the oppressive political will of the authorities to ensure our silence irrespective of whatever conditions we are subjected to. This became clear as some Interior Ministers threatened to imprison refugees who attended the Congress. It was against this background that refugees all over the country resolved in the Congress, to fight for the restoration of our freedom of movement which though is a part and parcel of our fundamental human rights, but has been grossly violated by the existence and application of this law.

Your Honour, the second control for which I am now charged resulted in the course of my participation in the demonstrations against the visit of President Khatami of Iran to Weimar on July 12th, 2000. As the Coordinator of The VOICE in Niedersachsen and an active member of The Caravan?for the rights of refugees and migrants, I participated in these demonstrations not only because it was organised by the groups that I belonged to, but to show international solidarity and support for my fellow comrades from Iran who as Iranians in exile like my humble self, reserved the rights to voice their opposition to the visit of a president whose actions have led to the flight of many from their beloved homeland.

MY SUBMISSION

Your Honour, the issues that I humbly plead before this court today for considerations are:

1. That as a refugee who is in this country on account of my political opinion and activities, to deny me any opportunity of continuing all such political engagements, through the deliberate refusal of permissions to leave the City of Wolfsburg, seeks to place me in a state of political coma and impotence. It further leads me to painfully re?live those sad and horrible experiences which I had under the dictatorial governments in my country and which resulted in my flight to Germany.
2. That on various occasions, I fulfilled the requirements needed to obtain a permission from the foreigners office ? by presenting invitations and addresses of the places of events, but was denied by the foreigners office on the decision of Mr. Werner Pils. These refusals were subjective.
3. That I exhibited the willingness to obey the law as shown by the permissions I obtained from the foreigners office but was later compelled into a situation where I had to break the law by Mr. Pils continued refusal to issue me permissions.
4. That the head of the foreigners office, Mr. Werner Pils be held responsible for taking decisions which effectively denied me such permissions and constitutes a violation of my rights.
5. That I was continuously treated with scorn and disdain and was always humiliated by the staff of the foreigners office. The resulting antagonistic and hostile atmosphere led me raise the issue with The Mayor of the City Mrs. Ecke on two different occasions, who promised to intervene. But as there were no changes, I was discouraged from going back there to seek any further permission.
6. That the law itself is not consistent with the provisions and protection of the dignity of human beings as spelled out in both the Geneva Convention and the European Community Declaration on Human Rights, to which Germany is a signatory.
7. That this particular provision of the law violates my fundamental and inallienable right to freedom of movement, free association and expression as a human being contrary to the protection of the dignity of man that is guaranteed by the German constitution.
8. Finally, given that the law is dehumanising and inconsistent with the provisions of the German constitution and a violation of the above mentioned international treaties, I ask that it be declared illegal, null and void.

Sunny Omwenyeke

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Wir sind dankbar für jede Spende (steuerabzugsfähig, Spendenquittung auf Wunsch) Belohnung 2015: Die politischen Ressourcen der Flüchtlinge in Deutschland

Radiosendung anlässlich des 20 Geburstags von The Voice Refugee Forum (Oktober 2014 reboot.fm angehört werden (Sprachen: englisch und deutsch).

break deportation

Deutsch: Abschiebung ist Folter und Mord - Schluss mit Polizeigewalt gegen Flüchtlinge und Aktivisten
PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - Erstes Jubiläum des Protestes in und vor der nigerianischen Botschaft vom 15.10.2012

Mbolo Yufanyis Gerichtsverhandlung / Court Hearings in Berlin

Mbolo Yufanyi speaks on Deportation Chain - Resistance against Rascism and colonial injustice

Abschlusserklärung des Flüchtlingstribunals 2013 in Berlin

Prozessbericht zu Mbolo Yafanyis Gerichtstermin vor dem Amtsgericht Tiergarten am 26.9.13

„Flüchtlingsfrauen sagen: Es reicht!von der Flüchtlingsfrauenkonferenz zum Tribunal in Berlin“
Radio Broadcast from April 26, 2013
The Voices #11 - Refugee Woman Conference UND Artikel aus der Presse

Der Film über das KARAWANE Festival gegen koloniales Unrecht in Jena erscheint bald.

Osaren-Karawane-Festival-Jena-2010 Unite Against Colonial Injustice

Filmtrailer "Residenzpflicht"
:
The Caravan *for the rights of refugees and migrants

Break Isolation *Refugee Summercamp Erfurt
Links:
International Refugee Tribunal 2013
Refugee Protest Camp Oranienplatz Berlin
*asylstrikeberlin

Materials:
*Kalender 2013
*Zeitung der KARAWANE
Reboot FM 88 Berlin: *RADIO Broadcast Manifestation of The VOICE Refugee Forum and Plataforma
Campaign:
*REFUGEE (NIGERIA) EMBASSY GERMANY Residenzpflicht -*apartheid.net

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