You are here

Residenzpflicht Violation Case Against Janak Pathak Dropped

The charge against Janak Pathak

for violating the Residence Obligation Law was dropped during the court hearing on February 24, 2994 at the Amtsgericht Lübbecke. The presiding judge decided that there was no reasonable ground for J. Pathak to pay a fine, go to prison or render social service.

The judge declared that he understood and sympathized with Janaks position but could not change the law. He suggested that J. Pathak could seek legal remedy by challenging the law up to the German Constitutional Court.

J. Pathak argued that he had several times earlier asked the Lübbecke Foreign Office for a permit to travel in connection with the performance of his political and organizing work in support of the peoples movement in Nepal, but the office refused, saying that his reasons for travelling were not valid and important.

He stated his position that the Residence Obligation Law violates the spirit of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He added that this law violates European Conventions, noting that it is only in Germany where a law of such kind exists. This law, he says, is a modern version of some fascist laws in the past.
Finally, J. Pathak declared his intention to take active part in the campaign to oppose the Residence Obligation Law, to present case before the bar of public opinion as well as to bring it up to the German Constitutional Court, the European Parliament and the European Court.

J. Pathak appeared before the court without a lawyer. Some Caravan members and sympathizers wer present to lend moral and political support. The presiding judge entertained questions from and dialogued with those who attended the hearing.
Janak Pathak, a journalist by profession, is a political refugee from Nepal, a leader of the Internationalist Nepalese Solidarity Forum (INSOF), and a long-time member of the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants.
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