We are a group of refugee activists from Schwäbisch Gmünd and we make sure no border can stop our activism.
On Thursday, 17 April 2014 about 17.00 hrs., while we were in the train in our way from Schwäbisch Gmünd to Jena to participate in a workshop and conference organized by Voice Refugee Forum in Thüringen,
we were surprised and terrorized by two policemen as they came toward us and asked: where we were going? One of us answered: “We are going to Jena”. After they asked him for passport he asked them back: “Why?” They said: “We are Policemen and we are doing our duty to make control.” So he gave them his papers and after they saw it they said: “You are from Schwäbisch Gmünd in Baden Württemberg and you are not supposed to be here.” He replied: “Is here not a part of Germany?” They told him: “Yes, but with this ‘Duldung’, you are not supposed to be here.” He said: “I do not know, but I think this is Germany and I believe that I have freedom to move.” Then they left him and start to talk to the whole group and asking: “Are you all travelling together?” Us answering: “Yes we are travelling…all together.”
This was when they started to ask all of us for our “Ausweis”. We retreated them that ‘they should control all people around in the train and then we would then be ready to give our papers for control too.’ They repeated: “No, we are just doing our job and you have to show us your ‘Ausweis’”. This time we definitely decided to say “No”
Finally they announced: “OK, so in our final destination (Jena Paradise) Police will be waiting for you.” After that they kept a distance inside the train but hang around nearby and kept watching us. So when we had arrived at Jena Paradise we found 2 police cars and one Police Bus waiting, making it about 10 policemen. They asked us again about our “Ausweis”. After an adequate argument, they threatened us like: ‘If you don’t show your “Ausweis”, we will not allow you to go out from this ‘Bahnhof’. After we noticed the police trying to be violent, we finally decided to give them their colonial papers to keep them and left.
About the above mentioned shameful story, we want to clarify the following:
We reject, condemn and refuse to be discriminated just because we had to ask for asylum in Germany.
We experience this sort of “duty” as racist – from racist policemen which whom we are faced with on daily base. Even when we raise the question again and again: “Why policemen do ignore to control everybody who is inside a train? Why they just come directly towards us in the middle of the train?
We ask ourselves: Are these controls based on our skin colors? Are these policemen with their racist pride boldly tell us again and another time again that it was just because we are foreigners?
Anyhow, to make it short: as the police brutality and day to day racism in this country against refugees is not a new phenomenon, we are therefore demanding:
- a written apology letter in-person to all those who have been controlled and discriminated in above mentioned event in colonial continuity
- to implement immediate measurements to make sure that what happened on 17 April, cannot happen again
We will put a legal charge against the policemen and also the higher administration above them for still advicing them to do so.
Our next line of action will be to control the police racist attitude on refugees in Germany and as well as to bring these violations documentary to our Tribunal against the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Refugee Activists of Schwäbisch Gmünd
In support with The VOICE Refugee Networks in Germany