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Regina Kiwanuka* - Ugandan Human Rights Activists, Member of the International Delegation

Regina Kiwanuka* (Ugandan Human Rights Activists, Member of the International Delegation of the Oury Jalloh Initiative.

*Observations and comments*

04 April 2007

*Oury Jalloh trial in the Honourable Court of Dessau East Germany
Tuesday 27th - Friday 30th March 2007

It was hectic that Tuesday morning. Before 7 a.m. people from all walks of life appeared on the doorstep of the Lands Court to witness and observe the process of obtaining justice for one of our own, Oury Jalloh. Oury Jalloh, from Sierra Leon, met a terrifying death on 7 January 2005 in cell number 5 in the basement of a police precinct in Dessau. His hands and feet were tightly tied and shackled, and then he was bundled into a cell and burnt to death. Now the time had come for people to hear more details relating to this grisly death from the people who put him in that cell to die. The media comprised more than 20 reporters from many different media houses.

After 26 months of vehement campaigns and protests from the Oury Jalloh initiative, created and sustained by patriots and human rights activists of various nationalities including Germans, the Court was compelled to charge both police officers Schubert and Maerz who executed duties on that Friday morning of 07 January 2005.

A few minutes after 9 a. m. the doors were opened and bombarded by many men and women, the media pushing along with their gadgets; lawyers and dignitaries from various organisations all unashamedly pushing their way through to get seats for proper observation of the day's events. The first day of hearing portrayed the highest level of prejudice emanating from the Honourable court. The only one African witness on behalf of the dead man was intimidated and heartlessly cross examined by the Honourable Judge himself. The judge concentrated on Oury Jalloh's assumed habits, particularly the negative behaviour perceived as unacceptable by society. The questions he raised were based on alcoholism, drug addiction and aggressiveness. Not one query concerning
the ground of his arrest or whether he was allowed that one telephone call to inform a friend of his arrest, or whether he should have been driven to hospital rather than a police cell. What court seemed to say was, the black man deserves no human rights, therefore accord him none.
As they packed our ancestors for slavery and plunder, oblivious to humanity, so it was here symbolised as a clear extension of apartheid in a foreign land.

The mother to Oury Jalloh was not spared the details of the cruel and inhuman manner in which Oury was arrested and dragged down to the police station and burned. The harsh questions from the judge, whether Oury smoked hashish, and if he had started therapy sessions at all, how aggressive was he? Did he drink alcohol? Why do people drink? He went on to criminalise Oury Jalloh in front of his mother and half brother who had travelled from Guinea to witness the trial process, and their loved one's last days in Germany. Court was portraying the invasion of the aggressors more than 500 years ago. The bitterness and sorrow of the black man is crystallized through this poor woman who kept mourning her son all through the court process.

Mr. Andreas Schubert, the head of the Dessau police precinct where two detainees have died in the same cell under his administration in a space of four years, is an arrogant man and very sure of himself. He did not seem touched by the events; no signs of remorse. To him it was just another incident of a death in a police cell. How many more deaths is he to ignore before the hand of law intervenes? He is the incarnate of the
colonial masters who horrendously vacuumed the life out of our ancestors who attempted to resist the despicable terrorism of colonialism.

All police officers, all witnesses in those four days denied and contradicted previous statements. This represents the vacuum structure of self independence in former colonies. African leaders and independence are but a portrayed picture to fool the fools as Africa is still under colonialism, sustained plunder of natural and human
resources, beaten up and burned to death humans, the extension of apartheid and elimination no longer disguised. Many details were blocked by 'no comment' - in particular Mr. Schubert's racist telephone conversation with the doctor. The aggressors more than 500 years ago called us inconceivable unimaginable names - monkeys, gorrillas unworthy of living, at the same time grievously suffocating the life out of us.
Where is the attention of the international conventions vis-a-vis the refugees? All witnesses verify there was no fire lighter anywhere on Oury Jalloh's body. So where did the lighter that sparked off that fateful fire come from? Who planted it? Who burned Oury Jalloh and what was the motive? According to the testimony that came out in the four days, the German police burned Oury Jalloh alive. Mr. Schubert did not
delay to attend to the fire alarm; he simply ignored it. Jalloh was checked upon every now and again from 10hrs to 11.54hrs, then at 12hrs they let him burn. Is it not amazing how all police officers were lost with the time frame at the last hour? That the black smoke was so unbearable but no signs of fire itself! How long does it take for the
black smoke to form within a precinct full of police officers? Amazingly on 7 January 2005, all police officers lost their memory span, as to who was there and how many. The contradiction from Schneider that "after tying him up we just left him there" tells it all. Many questions rise from this statement.

Then the fear in the eyes of the defence lawyer, Mr. Sven Tamoschus, objecting to Officer Schneider's testimony is enough confirmation to much more than meets the eye. There was persistant obstruction of justice, and the audacity of it all boggles the mind. Mr. Schneider and Maerz arrested Jalloh on 7 January 2005; who else is in a better position to relay the actual events that took place on that fateful day rather than from the horse's mouth itself? The manner in which Mr. Schneider described the events, Jalloh was very brave he answered back to the police, he had no fear he was as tired of them as they he. The police were very angry and aggressive; they pushed him over his head as Schneider illustrated, ushered him into a car and drove him to the towering inferno. Did he scream? Did he call out for help? Was he beaten unconscious before burning to
charcoal, or did they let him feel it?
"There was nothing to burn in the basement anyway; it's made up of tiles," one officer said. Was Oury Jalloh categorised as part of the tiles? And where did the water paddle inside cell 5 come from? Will the world ever learn the real truth behind this notorious act? This inconceivable death of Oury Jalloh, feet and hands tied, fixed tightly to the wall on the mattress on the floor, in the custody of police officers who are sworn to protect life rather than destroy it, is a symbol of the apartheid, extended monstrous colonialism, capitalism, imperialism and most of all the despicable efforts and vision of the white race to eliminate and wipe out the African race.

Oury Jalloh was being criminalised as an alcoholic, a drug addict with an aggressive and unruly behaviour with signs of suicide. Justifying their barbaric atrocities, the system is prepared to reach the highest extremities to get the police force off the hook, to break the will, the dignity of an African man and to destroy him. Then after we are
murdered, their actions shall for ever be justified by criminalising us, since we don't have a voice.

We must heave and repel this concerted criminal effort to eliminate and wipe the African man off the universe. Oury Jalloh's death is a significant symbol of elimination.

My name is Regina Kiwanuka. I am a political refugee in Germany and a human rights activist. My father Benedicto Kiwanuka was the first Prime Minister of Uganda and the first Ugandan Chief Justice. He was dragged out of his high court chambers on 21 September 1972, and was brutally murdered by Idi Amin's gorillas. He suffered a slow painful death as he was chopped to pieces whilst alive. Benedicto Kiwanuka died fighting for the voiceless like Oury Jalloh.
I relate his slow painful death to that of Oury jalloh under the same rule and power of the aggressors. SHOW ME ANOTHER PLANET WITHOUT THE AGGRESSORS AND I WILL TAKE MY LEAVE. Regina Kiwanuka in Nürnberg.