Foto: A journey from nowhere to Sommerda, a misty morning train ride.
Breaking news: We waiting for a detailed report on today's court hearing of today in Sommerda.
Antisemitism and Racist Discrimination in Sömmerda Refugee Camp
Report of 2nd Court Hearing in Sommerda by the refugeeBlackBox activist
A COMMUNICATION TO GERMAN PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL RELATION
In the words of the observers at the court hearing of the activist of the Refugee Black Box on 09.10.2023, « it was a disaster by all standards, especially in the so-called EU democracy’ ».
First, there was a heavy presence of policemen with cars as well. Even the entrance to the court had many policemen, which raised an important question : Why this maximum security?
Secondly, there was a clear provocation from the authorities as exhibited by the Police over- exaggerated method of inspection of observers who had come to witness the court proceedings. At some point they were touching a woman’s body, and removing the belt of many young men’s pants to search them. According to one activist, « I have never been subjected to a search like this before, even at the Airports. » In fact, he was prevented from taking in a bottle of water inspite of documents showing that he had a chronic illness.
Eventually, the judge allowed him to bring in the bottle of water and a computer but everyone’s mobile phones were seized by the police at the entrance, including the RBB activist. In the words of the activist, « It was as if we were entering the ‘’BND’’ headquarters, not a court in a small town in East Germany. Someone from the audience asked the Judge before the start of the session, why their phones were taken from them. The Judge replied: ‘’We have been informed and I suspect that there may be some protest actions. This is why the police were deployed, and checks were being conducted’’.
What was a surprise to everyone was that the executive director of ASB Sömmerda Mr K, the camp Manager, who made the antisemitic statements, and the Police Officer Mr. T.D - PHM in Sömmerda, who’s responsible for the case, all sat together before the start of the trial. It was a scandal that the public prosecutor went from his place to the place where they sat and started talking to them directly. This raised some questions : What would the public prosecutor be discussing with them and why was this not said to the hearing of everone present? It certainly did not fill the audience with any confidence in terms of neutrality, particularly as he did not speak with the litigant who was present and witnessing all these.
At the beginning of the trial, two men were asked to leave the courtroom as they might be potential witnesses later on. These individuals included the ASB executive director, Mr. K, and the camp manager who had been accused of antisemitic statements by our activist.
The first witness was the former roommate of the RefugeeBlackBox activist who claimed that there had no insulting words been exchanged during the incident in question. During the trial, the witness only spoke broken German, but nevertheless he insisted that he had clearly understood everything that had been said during the incident. Furthermore, his statements differed from the already contradictory statements made by the other witnesses. Strangely, he was defending the camp manager (who made the anti-semtitic statement) with words like : « Das ist eine Katastrophe, das ist eine Katastrophe. » He reapeated the sentence many times, which showed that he had memorized what he said in his statement, in addition to speaking in a loud voice which emphasized the sentences he said.
The witness stated that it was impossible for these allegations against the camp manager, whom he referred to as his "boss" to be true. When asked who had informed him about these allegations, he responded with an unbelievable distraction theater. After repeated questioning by the lawyer, he claimed that the police had informed him of the allegations after the RBB activist started the case. He recounted that a police officer had come to the camp to question him about the incident. Subsequently, the RBB activist asked him if the man behind him in the courtroom Police Officer - Mr. T.D - PHM was the relevant policeman in question. The witness turned around and looked at the man who had sat down in friendly conversation with the ASB executive director and the camp manager before the trial began. This led to a brief commotion, and the police officer was removed from the courtroom as a witness. Later, we noticed that he had taken a seat next to the two witnesses and had enough time to converse with them.
The public prosecutor summoned Mr. K, the executive director of ASB, although he was not mentioned in the police report. The judge asked him if he knew or had seen the defendent (and former accuser, which is our activist) before. He categorically denied that he had seen him at all. He was asked if he had heard of the issue of anti-semitism which he affirmed. He declared that he had been shocked and had asked his colleagues about the matter. He assured that they had helped many refugees since 2015. Being asked again what were the punitive measures if the aussault by the camp director was confirmed he replied that he would have to expel him immediately.
The RBB activist later explained that he had met with Mr. K, the executive director of ASB and Mr. P, the Flüchtlingsbetreuung of ASB, in the ASB office in Sömmerda, on 08.09.2022 /11:00. Present at this meetinge were 4 refugees including the activist as well members of two NGOs from Thuringia (Flüchtlingsrat & EmpowerMensch) who were witnesses. The manager of the camp who made the anti-semitic statement confirmed this meeting in the first session, and this shows the organization’s evasion of responsibility and fabrication of testimonies.
After that, there was a short break. The RBB activist was shocked to observe the prosecutor talking with the executive director of ASB, the police officer and the camp manager in this break.
After this contradiction was the Police Officer’s testimony. The Police officer said that he is responsible for 3 camps in the city. He further confirmed that he did not know the defendant, and that he was impartial in the investigation. He stated to have a relationship with the camp director but outside the framework of work, knowing that he is not the same officer with whom the activist filed the complaint.
When the lawyer asked questions, the officer was very rude and used street language in his answers. The lawyer stressed that the investigation was not neutral and lacked confidentiality in accordance with German law and laws related to police investigations. He criticized especially that the defendants and witnesses had not been summoned to the police station, but were interrogated in the camp, which confirms clear legal violations by the German police, which are supposed to protect everyone.
The police officer accused the RBB activist, of making allegations against him, but the judge interrupted him, saying that the activist had not mentiond him in all the sessions.
After another breakt a staff at the ASB head office in Thuringia entered the Hall. The RBB activist noticed that she had a phone and knowing that phones had been seized from all the people inside the court, he drew the attention of the judge to it. « What is happening here, why are all the people without phones and this woman entered with her phone, what is the police team doing downstairs, is it because she’s German and White and I am a North African refugee? What is this »?
A state of silence prevailed inside the hall, and the judge remained shocked by the intervention of Mr. M.
The lawyer said that there is a witness in the audience who wants to give his testimony; the witness is a student from the same state, Thuringia. He only came to follow the court proceedings because of the uproar he encountered in the state.
He said, that the 1st he was greeting the executive director of ASB, and he said ‘’Testimony Mr. M.M’’ I make the same statement you told me, and the latter ‘’Executive Director of ASB’’ replied Yes, you did a good job, but in this time the executive director was making noise during the young German’s testimony. He was moving the chair and laughing, and trying to distract everyone’s attention, untill the Judge interrupted and admonished him: ‘’Ruhe, Bitte’’. The executive director was sitting in a comfortable position next to the head of the ASB in Thuringia and they were both laughing and teasing throughout the court session, mocking everyone.
Everyone was shocked when the RBB Activist at the end of the trial asked the court to open an investigation by German intelligence, with two agencies (BND & BfV) – because of right-wing extremism activity in the Landkreis including the authorities of the city and the ASB organization employee, and against the two employees, whom brutally transferred him from his first place, (1st the Flüchtlingsbetruung of ASB Sömmerda Mr. P. & 2nd the Employee of the Ausländerbehörde in the same city),’’ without any legal reason.
He added that he had evidence of this, and that he was prepared to present it, in just one case, through observers from the United Nations. He added that he holds the ASB employees and some police employees, as well as the German state responsible if anything happens to him’’.
The judge agreed that it was a mistake on the part of the police team that the woman, the ‘’ASB Headquarter employee’’, could enter with her phone because she had not been searched and controlled as the others.
Edited and corrected version of Sommerda court hearings, in German and English.
Update: In Solidarity with North African Jewish – RefugeeBlackBox accused of „defamation“ after having denounced antisemitic insult
The first court hearing was on 27.09.2023 in Sömmerda
"Dear Refugee activists, making political demands for continued solidarity with the oppressed will help you overcome political ignorance, the political burden of political activism, and othe related issues," by RefugeeBlackBox activist.
Court Hearing, YOUR PRESENCE MATTERS! Refugee BlackBox activist is facing a court case because of „defamation“ after filing a complaint against the Director of the refugee camp in Sömmerda and the authorities there.
Invitation to the court hearing!!!
Read statement below.
YOUR PRESENCE MATTERS!
"A friend and and activist of the Refugee Black Box solidarity group invites you to attend the court session, to follow the progress of the above-named case. He is accused of „defamation“ after suing the Director of the refugee camp in Sömmerda for abuse and racist actions.
We will be grateful if you come forward to show your solidarity and attend the court session. Show the authorities that you will not back down from exposing illegal violations. Winning this litigation is a victory for the entire refugee community, as well as a victory against racism and the extreme right in Germany. It is a victory for democracy," said the activist.
The first Court hearing took place on Wednesday 27th September 2023 at the Courts of Sömmerda at Weißenseer Straße 52. It was attended by a considerable number of supporters made up of anti-racist activists and a handful of refugees. At the court, the presiding judge heard everyone’s statements, and added another session to hear the remaining ones. Consequently, the next hearing is now fixed for Monday 09th October, 2023 at the same place.
Your presence is important. Please come with friends and comrades to show solidarity with the victim against the racist and anti-semitic structures that are now the hallmark of the refugee camp in Sömmerda.
We cannot afford to be silent on this and we cannot afford to return to the 1930s and 40s in Germany.
Against the background of the many scandals to which our comrade was a witness, we demand :
• The opening of an immediate, comprehensive and transparent investigation into the allegations by our comrade and what is happening in Landkreis Sömmerda.
• The immediate transfer of our comrade from that Region due to his health condition, insecurity and lack of safety.
• Immediate provision of adequate healthcare – Cardiologist needed.
• An explanation as to why his documents were tampered with in violation of his right to data protection.
See you soon and stay strong!
The pressing demands of the independently organized struggles of refugees in Germany will be met by our strengthened solidarity.
The VOICE – RefugeeBlackbox