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(en) Demonstration against Apartheid in German Family Politics

From "nem" <nem.diy@wanadoo.fr>
Date Sun, 13 Feb 2000 05:08:58 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
110 Hamstead  Road
Birmingham B20 2QS
Phone: 0121-554-6947  Fax:  0870-055-4570
E-mail ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk
Web site:  http://www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/
NCADC reproduce below an appeal from our fraternal organisation in
International Human Rights Association - Bremen
NCADC feel the issue is important as the UK's own
Immigration-Apartheid laws (all ready in force through interim
measures) come into full force on April 1st this year.
At the end of the message there are fax numbers which people in the
UK can send protest faxs.
Demonstration against Apartheid in German Family Politics
For the rights of children, for the rights of women,
for human rights, against racism
Bremen: Saturday, 19th February 2000
12.00pm Central Station
Stop the Apartheid Family Laws in Germany
Binational couples in Germany faces great difficulties if one partner
comes from a non-Western country, and very much more so if she/he is
They not only have to face the prejudices of relatives and
acquaintances, which is bad enough, but the very existence of such
couples is threatened by German authorities which work towards
expelling the non-German partner so as to prevent the coming into
being of a binational family.
  A wedding is obstructed and in many instances made impossible
through bureaucratic rules. This is the case of a family living in
Bremen with their child. Nadine and Franklin (a refugee from
Nigeria), have been waiting since May 1999 for documents from the
German Embassy in Nigeria, which are demanded by the authorities here
as necessary paperwork to facilitate the marriage. In the meantime,
Franklin has no legal status in Germany and the family lives in
constant fear that the father of the one and half year old Celine is
again arrested and deported to Nigeria. During Nadine's pregnancy
Franklin sat three months in deportation prison and was deported
shortly before the birth of his daughter. This officially ordered
fate can repeat itself at any moment. The daughter is denied the
right to grow up with her father. When Nadine wanted to know why the
father of her child could not stay with her, Mr. Meier of the Bremen
Foreigners' Office replied that it was his duty to keep foreigners
Similarly, the wedding of Anke with Gabriel, a Nigerian asylum seeker
living in Thüringen, is being delayed by the German Embassy since
March 1999. They too have a daughter. As Anke has moved to Hamburg to
complete her education, she is dependent on Gabriel to care for the
child. As an asylum seeker, Gabriel does not have the right to leave
his district (landkreis) without official permission. The foreigners'
office denies him the right, to move to Hamburg to his fiancee.
Daughter and mother therefore rarely have the chance, to see each
In the meantime, the Foreigners' Office is eagerly working to smooth
the way for Gabriel's deportation to Nigeria. Through a co-operation
between the Foreigners' Offices and the German Embassies, asylum
seekers who wish to get married can always be deported before the
wedding can take place.
On the 19 January, Gabriel was arrested in the house of his
parents-in-law in Thuringen. When he asked the police officers, what
would now happen to his daughter, they replied dryly: "she can always
go to an orphanage." Through the intervention of the International
Human Rights Association Bremen, and "The VOICE" Africa forum Gabriel
was released from prison, and could again take the small Eesosa in
his arms.
However even marriage no longer protects a couple from being torn
apart. Thus, Dorothe and the Gambian Alieu are wed to each other
since last summer. Even during the wedding in Bremen, the registrar
had pro-claimed, that their marriage stands under a particular
binding protection. However up to now, their marriage certificate is
not worth the paper it is written on. The Bremen Foreigners' Office
has ordered Alieu's deportation. According to the Foreigners' Office,
he should try to get a marriage visa in Gambia. Mr. Meier of the
Bremen Foreigners' Office admits openly that he can decide
differently, but that he wants to punish Alieu.
>From many preceding cases, in which the partner was repatriated, it
is known, that the return to Germany can take several months, if not
years. It normally the case that he/she was not allowed to come back
to Germany. Only rarely does a couple who weds outside Europe,
succeed in leading a common life in Germany.
This is due to the many legal and political obstacles that prevent
binational couples from setting up a common future. Due to the
tremendous burden, Dorothe faces great difficulties in concentrating
on her ongoing training (Referendariat) as a teacher, her
professional future is thus at risk. Through a medical certificate
testifying to her deterioration of health, it was possible to
postpone briefly the deportation of her husband. The Foreigners'
Office replied with a letter demanding that Dorothe submit proof of a
therapy, which should prepare her psychologically for the pending
deportation of her husband.
Such racist family politics is in addition deeply hostile to women.
The order for therapy speaks a clear language: Women who marry
Africans are not normal and must undergo therapy.
Racist stereotypes, for example that Africans only come to steal
German women, determine official thinking. This thinking implies that
German women are the property of German men, and must be protected by
the State against marriage to foreigners - including the punishment
of women, who do not accept this official supervision.  It is also
suggested to the offending women as a serious solution, that they
migrate to the country of their partner. This suggestion plays into
the hands of all racists, who would like to "cleanse" Germany not
only of foreigners, but also of those German women who have
relationships with foreigners.
Not only are the women separated from their life partners and fathers
of their children, also their material, psychological and social
existence are also systematically destroyed.
For example the women are made fully and completely responsible for
the maintenance of their partners, who have no right to work or to
social benefits. They have to bear enormous costs for lawyers and
court cases. The tremendous psychological burden worsens their
chances in the labour market.
Nadine, who is just 21 years old, must carry the entire costs for
Franklin's arrest and deportation, if Franklin is to ever receive
legal status. Alone for the deportation, the couple was charged over
7.000 DM.
Dorothe and Alieu are threatened, that if husband Alieu does not
leave the country voluntarily, the married couple will have to face a
much higher bill, because they then have to shoulder the costs of
deportation prison and deportation. So they are pressurised to give
up all resistance, and to submit to the arbitrary will of the
Foreigners' Office.
The aim is to achieve a deterring effect, to hinder other women from
even contemplating starting a binational family. When Dorothe
complained about the harassment, she got to hear from the Foreigners'
Office that "she should have thought of all this before she got
Beside the couples mentioned above, there are countless other
binational couples with the same problem: in Germany they count as an
undesirable couple, and must fight hard for their future.
Numerous families were separated by force or could not withstand the
pressure exercised on them. Many women must raise their children
alone, and many children know their father no longer, because he was
deported. As a result of these racist family politics, many people
have even been harassed to the extreme step of taking their own lives.
We can accept this condition no longer! We must join together against
apartheid in German family law. We invite you to join the campaign
against apartheid in German family politics!
Come to the
Demonstration against Apartheid in German Family Politics
Bremen: Saturday, 19th February 12.00pm
Central Station
In Jena: Saturday, 25th March 1.00pm
Johanistr. Uniturm
For the rights of children, for the rights of women,
for human rights, against racism
International Human Rights Association - Bremen
Wachmannstraße 81. 28 209 Bremen
Tel.: 00 49 421 557 7093
Fax: 00 49 421 557 7094
Please send protest faxes to the following numbers,
The Innersenator of Bremen
Bernd Schulte
fax 00 49 421 361 9009
(regarding the cases of Dorothe/Alieu and Nadine/Franklin)
The Innersenator of Thuringen
fax 00 49 361 3793105 (referring to the
case of Anke and Gabriel)
Please send copies of the faxes to the International Human Rights
Association - Bremen
Fax: 00 49 421 557 7094

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