ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Germany Update

Robert (101607.2566@CompuServe.COM)
25 Sep 96 08:47:49 EDT


Hi All!

We have just received the current ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN
update on Germany which we are forwarding to this list
because it gives a small insight into current events and
the situation in Germany. One small addition to the
proceedings against Safwan Eid mentioned several times below:
Most of the media in Germany pay little or no attention to
the contradictions in the evidence of the prosecution,
politicians and lawyers likewise.

Robert
(for A-Infos Germany)

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Von: Tom Burghardt, INTERNET:tburghardt@igc.org
An: Robert, 101607,2566
Datum: 25.09.1996 08:36

Betreff:ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Germany Update

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From: Tom Burghardt <tburghardt@igc.org>
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Subject: ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Germany Update
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_________________________________________________________________

G E R M A N Y U P D A T E

BERLIN ANTIRACIST INFORMATION NETWORK

News Update August/September 96
_________________________________________________________________


C O N T E N T S

-----


1. Luebeck's Mayor Clashes With State Interior Minister

2. Antiracist Demonstration In Grevesmuehlen Banned;
Antiracists Attacked By Police; Mass Arrests

3. International Commission Reports One-Sided
Investigations; Official Cover-Up Continues

4. A Halt To Deportations To Nigeria? Nigerian Deportee
Disappeared



-----



** Topic: germany update aug/sep 96 **
** Written 7:32 AM Sep 24, 1996 by
MISCHA@VLBERLIN.comlink.apc.org in cdp:gen.racism **

-----

Berlin 23.09.96

* NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN LUEBECK MASSACRE CASE *


LUEBECK'S MAYOR CLASHES WITH STATE INTERIOR MINISTER

Luebeck's social democratic mayor Michael Boutellier clashed
publicly with his party colleague, Schleswig-Holstein Interior
Minister Ekkehard Wientholtz at a public meeting in late August
with survivors of the attack on the refugee hostal in Luebeck
early this year which cost ten lives. After the attack Mayor
Boutellier had assured survivors that they would be granted
permission to stay in Germany. This is now being contradicted by
Interior Minister Wientholtz, who claims that each case will have
to be reviewed individually. Mayor Boutellier is quoted as
saying: "I expect a clear signal from you as a politician this
evening. Otherwise I shall be ashamed to be in the same party as
you" (both are members of the SPD). Minister Wientholtz angered
the audience by recalling Boutellier's call for civil
disobedience and drawing parallels with the tactics of the
radical right: "Even an extreme right-wing mayor would have to
realize that he is bound by law and rights". Minister Wientholtz
is also responsible for disciplinary proceedings against Mayor
Boutellier for his call for civil disobedience against the
deportation machinery of the Germany state.

Following the discussion the Luebeck branch of the SPD
passed a resolution effectively gagging the mayor and preventing
him from criticizing the Interior Minister. The resolution
states: "We recognize divergent opinions in the party. This
should not however lead to a situation in which elected
representatives of the Social Democratic Party accuse each other
publicly about their attitude towards the application of the
asylum law". Mayor Boutellier however received support from the
party's youth organisation as well as from the Green party, who
also called for long-term residence permits for the victims of
the attack and for an end to the disciplinary proceedings against
the mayor.

-----


ANTIRACIST DEMONSTRATION IN GREVESMUEHLEN BANNED -
ANTIRACISTS ATTACKED BY POLICE. MASS ARRESTS.

An antiracist demonstration planned for August 31st in the
town of Grevesmuehlen, near Luebeck, was banned by the police in
the week preceding the event. Grevesmuehlen is the home town of
four men involved in the local neo-nazi scene who are suspected
of involvement in the Luebeck massacre. The police justified the
ban by claiming the demonstration would represent "a danger to
public security and order". They also assumed that demonstrators
would "commit offences against the law of assembly".
Demonstration organizers announced that they would meet in
Luebeck instead.

On the day, 400-500 demonstrators met in Luebeck after
extensive searches and hold-ups by police, who arrested one
demonstrator allegedly for the possession of a weapon. Police
also permitted around 250 demonstrators to board a train to
Grevesmuehlen, where they were greeted by a group of around 50
local youth giving nazi-style salutes. The arriving demonstrators
were immediately surrounded by riot police, who outnumbered the
demonstrators by more than two to one. The demonstrators
announced by megaphone that they intended to make use of their
right to conduct a spontaneous public assembly but that they
would not attempt to demonstrate through the town, and would
depart back to Luebeck on the next train. A representative of the
demo organisers who attempted to personally register the rally in
accordance with German law, was told by the a police commanding
officer to "piss off".

The police then attacked the demonstrators with fists and
clubs, arresting over 200 to the applause of the watching neo-
fascist youth. The demonstrators were taken to a school sports
hall. Those arrested spoke of further police violence during the
transport and in the hall itself. At a press conference the
commanding police officer Hinrich Alpen denied that clubs had
been used (although subsequent press pictures clearly show police
attacking demonstrators with clubs drawn) and described the
attempts of the organisers to register the assembly as "not
relevant". He attempted to justify the mass arrests by claiming
that he had received information from Luebeck that the
demonstrators had dug up stones which they had with them,
although no further evidence was produced to substantiate this
claim.

-----

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION REPORTS ONE-SIDED INVESTIGATIONS.
OFFICIAL COVER-UP ATTEMPTS CONTINUE

An interim report published on September 9th by the
Independent International Commission monitoring investigations
into the Luebeck massacre describes the response of the German
authorites to the fire as "one-sided". The report points to the
contradictions in the version constructed by the State Prosecutor
and states that the unconfirmed "confession" allegedly heard by
the main witness for the prosecution "would be considered as an
insufficient basis from which to find the accused guilty in most
legal systems".

In a section concerning the four right-wing suspects from
Grevesmuehlen the Commission stated that it had the impression
that the release of the four suspects following a short period of
detention was accompanied by a "sigh of relief" from public
opinion, and that it was this sigh of relief that they detected
behind the authorities' exclusive concentration on attempting to
hold Safwan Eid solely responsible for the fire. The Commission
noted that the investigating authorities had overlooked or
ignored evidence pointing towards the Grevesmuehlen suspects,
evidence - such as the burns to the faces of three of the four
suspects - which the Commission regards as "a positive indication
of participation in the crime".

Meanwhile further indications have emerged of attempts by
the investigating authorities to doctor evidence regarding the
activities of the four on the night of the fire in order to
strengthen their alibis. The _Junge Welt_ newspaper of 14/15
September reported that the Luebeck State Prosecutor had ordered
the forensic doctor who had originally examined the four to
define exactly what he meant when he stated that the burns to
their faces were "fresh". The doctor replied by saying that fresh
meant "not older than 24 hours", i.e. that the men must have
received the burns on the night of the fire, and that in
consequence their alibis were incorrect. After initially stating
that "this circumstance alone does not prove participation in the
crime", the State Prosecutor is now reported to have commissioned
another medical report with the stated objective of proving "that
the traces detected are without reservation all order than one or
several days", thus reinstating the previously defunct alibis of
the suspects.

This action however seems in keeping with the general one-
sidedness of the authorities investigations. The Hamburg
"Morgenpost" newspaper from July 3rd listed some of the
inconsistencies in the investigations:


What about the ground floor window which was broken, with
the glass lying inside the building? What about the frame of
the bolted front door, which was found damaged at the scene
and sent to the Criminal-Technical Examination Unit in Kiel,
but never arrived? Or what about the charred floor panel
which the Criminal Investigation Department secured at the
supposed point of origin of the fire, but which can no
longer be found?



And the newspaper _AK - Analyse & Kritik_ from 22nd August
also observed that,


the State Prosecutor's theory about the point of origin and
course of the fire has the flaw that, according to its
version, burning petrol would have had to flow uphill in
order to set the stairs on fire.


In addition, the _Junge Welt_ of 14/15th September also
reported that a fresh witness has come forward to testify that a
friend of one of the Grevesmuehlen suspects had told him of his
participation in the arson attack. The police however have paid
no attention to the story and the witness has not been called to
testify in the trial.

-----

TRIAL AGAINST SAFWAN EID OPENS IN LUEBECK

The trial against the 20 year old Lebanese man Safwan Eid
started on September 16th in the Luebeck State Court amidst
massive police security measures. Over 200 police officers were
reported to be on duty in and around the courthouse. The charges
against Safwan Eid no longer include multiple murder as
originally requested by the State Prosecutor, but still include
serious arson and physical injury resulting from negligence,
which carries a maximum of 10 years to life imprisonment. The
trial is initially set to last 8 days, with over 60 witnesses to
be called. Safwan Eid's defence counsel Gabriele Heinecke was
reported to be optimistic that her client's innocence would be
proven: "Anything else would just continue this legal scandal"
she is quoted as saying.

A man was ejected from the courtroom on the first day of the
trial for shouting "The racist murderers must go to jail". A
further 70 people also joined a spontaneous demonstration through
Luebeck city centre. Luebeck Coalition Against Racism have
announced a demonstration for November 2nd.

A hitherto unknown group calling itself the "Group Against
Nation and Racism" hung a banner on the famous Holsten Gate,
images of which are used as the official symbol of the city. The
banner read: "Germany finds itself not guilty". In an explanatory
leaflet the group stated that the city of Luebeck is no longer
famous for its marzipan and its architecture, but for "covering
up an arson attack in order to take the heat off the German
nation".

The trial continues.

-----


We document below a translation of a statement by ArGiB -
Antiracist Groups in Bonn, calling for deportations to Nigeria to
be halted.

-----

ArGiB
ANTIRACIST GROUPS IN BONN
Bonn, 18.09.96

*Press Release*

A HALT TO DEPORTATIONS TO NIGERIA?

NIGERIAN DEPORTEE DISAPPEARED


On the occasion of the conference of State Interior
Ministers on September 19th the Antiracist Groups in Bonn (ArGiB)
draw attention once again to the fate of the Nigerian
oppositionist Felix Erhahon and reiterate our demand for a
general stop to deportations to Nigeria.

Fefix Erhahon was deported to Nigeria on September 10th.
This took place under the express instructions of the Bonn Bureau
for Foreigners and is now being sold by city mayor Bdrbel
Dieckmann as a breakdown in the functioning of the Central
Authority for Foreigners in Cologne. This represents a breach of
promise by the Green Party faction on the city council as well as
a tearing up of the written assurance by Frau Zwiebler from the
mayor's office that Felix Erhahon would not be deported before
his case is decided by the Commission for Special Hardship Cases
in the state of Nordrhein-Westphalen (NRW). The earliest date on
which the Commission would have been able to discuss his case was
however one week after his actual deportation.

Felix Erhahon has disappeared since being deported to
Nigeria. He has yet to contact his parents, relatives or friends.
It is to be assumed that Felix Erhahon was arrested on arrival at
the airport by the "security forces" of the military dicatorship.
According to reports by Amnesty International, torture in prison
and the "disappearing" of oppositionists is part of everyday
practice in Nigeria.

The fate of Felix Erhahon is just one example of the inhuman
and racist deportation policies in the Federal Republic of
Germany. Social-democratic/Green governments - whether in Bonn or
in NRW - share responsibility for these practices. The Antiracist
Groups in Bonn (ArGiB) call for a general stop to deportations to
Nigeria and the right of residence for all.

We ask you to document the fate of Felix Erhahon,
particularly with a view to the Conference of Interior Ministers
in Bonn on September 19th, where a potential stop to deportations
to Nigeria may be on the agenda.

-----

Contact:
Antiracist Telephone
(+49)-228-636151
Mo, Wed, Thur 18.oo-20.oo

* * * * *

Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)
750 La Playa # 730
San Francisco, California 94121
Voice: (415) 437-4032
E-Mail: <tburghardt@igc.apc.org>

On PeaceNet visit BACORR's <women.clinicdefense> conference. For
subscription information e-mail Wendi Jones, <wjones@igc.apc.org>

On PeaceNet visit ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN on <pol.right.anti> or by
gopher --> gopher://gopher.igc.apc.org:7021/11/europe

BACORR text files can also be found on the following sites:

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gopher://gopher.igc.apc.org:70/00/orgs/alternet

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