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WE ARE AGAINST THE RESIDENZPFLICHT! Court hearing on February 24,2004 in the Amtsgericht Lübbecke.

WE ARE AGAINST THE RESIDENZPFLICHT! Court hearing on February 24,2004 in the
Amtsgericht Lübbecke.

Janak Pathak, there is a court hearing on February 24 (Tuesday), 10:40 a.m. at the Amtsgericht Lübbecke. Janak Pathak, a political refugee from Nepal, a leader of the Internationalist Nepalese Solidarity Forum (INSOF),
journalist, human rights defender, and a member of Caravan will be hailed to court for allegedly violating the law on Residenzpflicht.

The Residenspflicht restricts the freedom of refugees in Germany:
This law does not exist anywhere in the European Union except in Germany. According to this law, refugees can only move within a particular district where they are accommodated and registered. Refugees can only leave such districts with a written permission from the Foreign Office.

Requests for such permission are often arbitrarily denied. Refugees found violating the law are fined or imprisoned or are required to do social work as punishment. This law, together with other restrictive regulations, serves to isolate and exclude refugees from society.

The Residenzpflicht is a violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Germany is a signatory. Article 13 I of the Universal Declaration states:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state".

In Janak Pathak’s case, several times he had been controlled by the police outside of the district he has been assigned (Regierungsbezirk Detmold) while doing political work in support of the people’s movement in
Nepal. He had tried several times before to secure a permit to travel from the Minden Foreign Office, and in as many times permission was denied arbitrarily by saying that the travel was not important for him.

Janak Pathak has signified his intention to protest against the injustice and arbitrariness of the Rezidensplicht. He takes this stand not only for himself but for all the other refugees.

Caravan Bielefeld Group supports his just stand. We call on other refugees, migrants and German friends to express their solidarity. We invite you to attend the hearing on February 24, Tuesday at the Amtsgericht
Lubbecke, Kaiser Str. 18 (near the Bahnhof Bushaltstelle).

There are so many boundaries against refugees in Germany. The law on Residenzpflicht is one of them. We are against the Residenzpflicht!

Caravan Bielefeld Group
February 19, 2004