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Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jallow, Berlin/Dessau 06-14-2005

Different Initiatives Denounce Daily State-Based Racism and the Targeted Harassment Against Mouctar Bah in Dessau

Oury Jallow was burned to death six months ago in a jail cell in Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt. For all of us who have experienced first hand this normality, these laws and these victimizers, the death of Oury Jallow and the subsequent developments make clear what really happened behind the police walls—and behind the walls of those whose silence is both customary and invariable.

Directly following the death of Oury Jallow, the police spoke of a suicide. Only following public protest did the State Prosecutor begin to respond to the existing contradictions: How can a man burn himself to death while being tied by hands and feet? How can he have a lighter when a thorough body search is always carried out? How can he put himself on fire when, according to the manufacturer, the mattress is extremely difficult to put on fire? Or when the mattress was not previously damaged? And why should he have done it? Why does the police officer turn down the acoustic control in the cell although it was not even damaged? How is it possible not to hear the death cries of a human being while being agonizingly swallowed in flames, flames which produced so much smoke that neither the police nor the fire department were even able to enter into the cell? Why did the lighter not appear in the first inventory list of things found in the cell but did appear in another list produced one day later?

Long before the investigations of the case were closed, the leading State Prosecutor said that, “there are no indications of malicious intentions of a third party.” A re-enactment produced by his own office is enough evidence to prove that it is possible to manoeuvre oneself enough so as to fish a lighter out of the pocket of a trouser. In spite of the fact that there were and are numerous unanswered questions, the State Prosecutor refused to authorize a second autopsy or even an x-ray, not even after having received the request from the family’s lawyer. As a result, family supporters were forced to organize and pay for an independent autopsy, which first established that Oury Jallow’s nose was broken as were his ethmoid bone and eardrums. Oddly, the State Prosecutor is crying that the results were not presented to them, though it was never hidden from them nor did they show any kind of interest in the results.

Now, following a six-month continuous struggle—including the strong demonstration in Dessau on the 26th of March in which the rage against everyday police violence and police brutality found an outlet—encouraged by the collective will and determination to find both the truth and those responsible for this horrible crime, two police officers have been indicted, one for bodily harm with fatal consequences and the other for involuntary manslaughter. All other legal possibilities have been excluded from the indictment.

For many of us, it is just as plausible that Oury Jallow was seriously beaten by the police—which unfortunately occurs frequently enough—later to be burned: be it to kill him or be it to hide his death. The simple allegation of the police officer, who asserted that the fire alarm had been turned off because of previous malfunctioning, is enough to demonstrate the unmistakable contempt and so-called “supremacy” in the handling of “Black Africans.” Nevertheless, in spite of having access to all information, already in February the State Prosecutor was quick to declare, “Our police is doing a good job.” It is only now—as part of the protocols from the telephone conversations, which demonstrate the clearly racist positions of the doctor and the police officer, were published in the press—that “conditions could be drawn from the personal attitudes of those involved,” and this even after the fact that the very existence of these protocols had been denied.

The obvious collaboration between the state institutions in this cover-up clearly refute the implausible denial of the authorities that the death of Oury Jallow had anything to do with racism. It is very common to speak about the racism originating from the street nazi than the daily racism of the state institutions: From 1990 to 2004, eleven foreigners died due to police measures. In the same time period, twelve were killed through racist attacks on the street, which received much more attention from the press than those relating to the state.

Now, once again, we are confronted with the situation that the fight for truth and justice in this horrendous affair is being obstructed in order to leave the official institutions untouched: One week ago, the Federal State Administrative Office of Sachsen-Anhalt sent a letter to Mouctar Bah—the one person who has been most engaged in seeing that justice is done in the case of Oury Jallow—making clear their intentions to close the Call- and Afro-Shop owned by Mr. Bah. Thus, his financial existence is being put at risk.

Although a similar attempt to close his store one year ago was rejected by the local court, on Thursday, the 6th of June, agents of the Office for Public Compliance searched his store. The only official explanation Mr. Bah has received is that it is “predominantly in the public interest” to close his store. Furthermore, his lawyer has been refused permission to examine the access records. All of this demonstrates that this is just another “measure” carried out in official silence in order to continue to hide the truth about the death of Oury Jallow and to break all resistance directed at uncovering the truth behind the veil of lies.

As part of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jallow, this press release has been authorized and published by the Anti-Racist Initiative Berlin (ARI), Plataforma of Refugees and Migrants and The Voice-Refugee Forum.

For more information please contact Mouctar Bah (0176-29435634)
www.anti-rar.de / www.plataforma-berlin.de / www.thevoiceforum.org

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Dessauer Bündnis gegen Rechtsextremismus fordert umfassende Informationen über den Stand der Ermittlungen im Fall Oury Jalloh
Bündnis macht Ansprüche nachdrücklich geltend
Dessau, 10. Juni 2005

P R E S S E M I T T E I L U N G

Das Dessauer Bündnis gegen Rechtsextremismus hat die Presseberichte zu Tod von Oury Jalloh (u.a. im Spiegel Nr. 23, S. 48) der vergangenen Tage mit großer Bestürzung und tiefer Betroffenheit zur Kenntnis genommen.

1998 schlossen wir – Dessauer Bürgerinnen und Bürger aus verschiedenen politischen Parteien, Gewerkschaften, Kirchen, Verbänden und Initiativen – uns im Bündnis gegen Rechtsextremismus zusammen, „um der wachsenden Akzeptanz rassistischen und nationalistischen Gedankengutes, der
Fremdenfeindlichkeit und menschenfeindlicher Intoleranz entgegen zu treten“.

Wir bedauern den Tod von Oury Jalloh, der am 7. Januar 2005 im Gewahrsam im Dessauer Polizeirevier verbrannt ist und stellen fest, das der Tod von Oury Jalloh vermeidbar gewesen wäre. Darum sind wir äußerst besorgt, dass hier Personen den Tod von Oury Jalloh mit zu verantworten haben, deren berufliche Aufgabe es ist, das Leben von Menschen zu retten und zu schützen.

In den jüngsten Presseberichten wurde bekannt, dass der jetzt angeklagte Dienstgruppenleiter wie auch der zur Blutentnahme gerufene Arzt bereits im Jahr 2002 mit einem Todesfall in einer Ausnüchterungszelle in Verbindung standen. Wir fragen, wie ein Arzt, der damals eine gravierende
Fehleinschätzung zur Hafttauglichkeit eines alkoholisierten Menschen traf und dabei einen Schädelbruch übersah, der zum Tod dieses Menschen führte, erneut zu diesem Bereitschaftsdienst eingesetzt werden konnte. Ging es doch um einen Menschen, der sich offensichtlich in einem körperlichen und seelischen Ausnahmezustand befand. Hier war doch nicht nur der Grad der Alkoholisierung festzustellen, sondern es musste auch geprüft werden, ob es überhaupt verantwortbar sei, Oury Jalloh allein und gefesselt in einer Zelle zu lassen. Der Gesprächsmitschnitt des Telefonats des Arztes mit dem Dienstgruppenleiter lassen hier eine menschenverachtende und
diskriminierende Einstellung erkennen, die erschreckt.

Wir als Dessauer Bürger haben einen Anspruch darauf, dass die Hintergründe des Todes von Oury Jalloh und damit das Handeln der Verantwortlichen restlos aufgeklärt werden. Es gibt noch viele offenen Fragen, deren lückenlose Beantwortung unabdingbar ist!

Ebenso haben wir einen Anspruch darauf, umfassend über die
Ermittlungsergebnisse informiert zu werden. Es darf nicht sein, dass Personen, in deren Händen die Sicherheit aller Bürger unserer Stadt – wie auch die Sicherheit aller Gäste unserer Stadt! – liegt, sich schwere Verfehlungen zuschulden kommen lassen und diese Missstände bewusst vertuscht werden.

Diese Ansprüche machen wir nachdrücklich geltend!

das Dessauer Bündnis gegen Rechtsextremismus

Infos/Kontakt:
Dessauer Bündnis gegen Rechtsextremismus
c/o Koordinierungsbüro
Raguhner Strasse 14

06842 Dessau

Tel.: 0340/ 85 05 21 2

Rückruf bei Fragen:
Razak Minhel (Leiter des Multikulturellen Zentrums Dessau)
Tel.: (03 40) 61 73 30

Marco Steckel (Opferberatung Dessau)
Tel.: 0340/ 66 12 39 5
Mobil: 0177/ 45 777 49

Language: 

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