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Press Release: Demonstration in Dessau In Memory of Oury Jalloh and Dominique Koumadio

Deutsch: Presseerklärung: Demonstration in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh und Dominique Koumadio in Dessau
Kontakt:Tel.: +49-1708788124;

Press Release

The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh is calling for a nationwide demonstration in memory of Oury Jalloh. Said demonstration will be take place on June 23, 2007, in Dessau. Meeting point is 1pm at the central train station. The demonstration will begin one hour later and pass through the center of the city as well as the monument in memory of Alberto Adriano and the police station in the Wolfgangstrasse. Several hundred protestors are expected.

Additionally, the Initative in Memory of Oury Jalloh will be holding a press conference at 1pm outside the central train station. The demonstration is being organised in response to the alarming developments of the court proceedings surrounding the death of the 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone/Guinea as well as diverse attacks against the Initiative itself.

In light of these developments, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh declares the following:

Those familiar with the brutality of the South African Apartheid regime can only imagine this situation all too well: a human being is chained at his hands and feet to fireproof mattress. Hours later, the man is dead, his body fully charcoaled, the upper parts of his fingers completely burned off. The official hypothesis: suicide.

On January 7, 2005, Oury Jalloh—a human being converted in life and death into an eternal refugee—died under exactly these circumstances in a police holding cell in Dessau, Germany. This happened on the very same day that the police in Germany took away the life of another African:
Layé Konde, whom ten days before went into a coma after the police had forced vomit-inducing chemicals down his throat, also perished on January 7, 2005. Until today, not one single police officer has been charged for these crimes.

From our point of view, the sequence of events only permits one possible hypothesis: Oury Jalloh was murdered. Since organising ourselves in the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh we have consistently insisted on the fact that the death of Oury Jalloh will remain a murder so long as the responsible authorities do not thoroughly clear up the events surrounding Oury's death. From the very beginning, the state prosecutor in Dessau only allowed one line of investigation, i.e. suicide. Yet in spite of all facts widely made available to the public, for instance that he was chained to a fireproof mattress, that a lighter only appears in a second inventory of the items found in the cell, that the broken nose was only discovered in the second, independently financed autopsy, etc., etc., the police, the court and even the media only allow one line of thought: Oury Jalloh killed himself.

The current court proceedings in the case of Oury Jalloh only serve to confirm our concerns regarding the cover-up of the case which lasted over two years. From the very first day, the trial has been characterised by a penetrating non-remembrance and selective knowledge of details on the part of the accused and witnesses alike—all of whom are from the police. Moreover, although there is more than enough evidence available to include a critical observation regarding the racism surrounding Oury's death and the entire process in and of itself, until now the issue of racism has been completely excluded from all investigations and subsequent proceedings. Instead, all efforts are being made to "prove" that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire.

Rather than pursue the truth, the authorities are instead bent on persecuting activists of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, against whom a series of investigations and preliminary proceedings are being launched, among other excuses because of libel. This is because we openly voice our opinion: it was murder. Activists are even persecuted
and threatened by the police within the courtroom itself. Further, at one of the vigils organized outside of the court, an attack was once again made against our freedom of speech in which a banner was forcefully removed by the police. The reason? It contained an illustration of a lighter and underneath it the words: OURY JALLOH WAS MURDERED!

In addition, Mouctar Bah, the former owner of a Telecafé in Dessau and international representative of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, is once again receiving serious and diverse threats. Already on February 7, 2006, the city authorities closed down his store and expropriated his commercial license. The justification? Mouctar allegedly had not done enough to keep the so-called drug dealers off the street where his Telecafé was located. Subsequently, he was forced to sell his shop to a German, for whom he now works as an employee. Currently, the new owner is being threatened with the closure of the Telecafé. The official justification? Mouctar Bah is still working there.

As if the persecution Mouctar Bah has suffered from the authorities is not enough, some take up where others leave off. In the night of May 14, 2007, unknown persons painted swastikas and nazi symbols on the monument in memory of the deported Jews and the destruction of the synagogue as well as Mouctar's former Telecafé, among other sites. Mouctar has also been physically attacked on more than one occassion. These attacks against Mouctar and the Initiative must be seen within the context of the recent racist attacks in Halberstadt, Cottbus and Bemberg and the reaction of the local police to them.

In spite of all these very alarming developments, certain, organized nazis are still allowed to attend the trial against the police in Dessau as so-called "normal" observers and to write viciously racist reports. In addition to all that mentioned above comes another shocking detail concerning the Vice-Director of the police in Dessau, Hans-Christoph Glombitza: three secret agents normally employed in investigating crimes
of right-wing extremism have sworn under oath that Mr. Glombitza, in his function as acting director of the police, has actually tried to impede the persecution of fascist crimes. They quote him as saying that, "one doesn't have to see everything," and that, "there are ways to write reports more slowly." Regarding programmes of the federal government to combat right-wing extremism, Glombitza is reported to have said that,"they are only for show anyway." Nevertheless, according to Wolfgang Böhmer, Interior Minister of Sachsen-Anhalt, "The accusation has been disproved. We now know that there were rather personal conflicts behind all of this."

And thus the vicious circle continues its barbaric cycle: cover-up, fraud, deception, deceit, delay and then forgetting. In this sense, we are by no means surprised by the fact that the demand of the family of Oury Jalloh's legal counsel to begin preliminary proceedings against Dr. Blödau have been openly rejected by the state prosecutor. Dr, Blödau, who became famous thanks to his extremely racist and vile comments about Blacks, was the person who took blood from Oury and ordered him to be chained at his hands and feet. He was also involved in declaring Mario Bichtermann, the homeless man who died or was possibly murdered in the same cell in November, 2002, fit for detention. The investigations against those responsible for the death of Mario Bichtermann? Closed.The case? Unresolved.

Several weeks ago, Rosa Amelia Plumelle-Uribe, one of the international delegates invited by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh to assist the trial, made the following comment: "The court faces the decision of having to condemn and distance itself from the racist conduct of the police or to excuse it and support it." In our opinion, the same is true for the media as well as the political parties and the society as a whole.

At the demonstration, the Initiative will also be honouring Layé Konde (Sierra Leone), who—as mentioned above—was murdered on the same day as Oury. Additionally, we will also be remembering Dominique Koumadio (Congo), who was shot to death by the police on April 14, 2006 in the city of Dortmund, John Achidi (Nigeria/Camerun), who also lost his life
after the police in Hamburg forced vomit-inducing chemicals down his throat in 2001 as well as Osamuyia Aikpitanhi (Nigeria). Osamuyia died on June 9, 2007 died during a deportation attempt in Spain while tied at his hands and feet and a rag stuffed down his throat and covered over with tape. According to the police, Osamuyia Aikpitanhi committed suicide.

We call on all people of solidarity to join us in Dessau and to participate in our demonstration in memory of Oury Jalloh. Furthermore, in light of the increasing attacks and attempts at criminalisation, we call on the media to be aware and to cover the demonstration and especially the further developments of the case.

For enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh
Spokesperson: Yufanyi Mbolo
Tel: +49-1708788124

Mehr Informationen:

The VOICE OnlineInfo: Oury Jalloh - Dominique Koumadio - Ahmed Sameer

Oury Jalloh:
- Presseerklärung: Demonstration in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh und Dominique Koumadio in Dessau Am Samstag, den 23. Juni

Dominique Koumadiou:
- Am 14. April 2006 wurde Dominique Kouamadiou, ein 23-jähriger Kongolese, durch zwei von einem Polizeibeamten abgegebene Schüsse vor einem Kiosk in Dortmund-Eving getötet.

Ahmed Sameer
Residenzpflicht vor Gericht
25. Juni 2007 in Gotha: Montag, den 25. Juni 2007, 13 Uhr
Amtsgericht Gotha, Justus-Perthes-Str. 2
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