Break the silence!
Come to Dessau on March 27th – 30th and April 19th-20th of 2007
Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and
rallies during this time
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh agonizingly burned to death—tied
at his hands and feet in Cell Number 5 in Dessau. He was a 21 year-old
refugee from Sierra Leone. The smoke and fire alarm were simply ignored by
the supervising police officer; the communication system connected directly
to the cell was turned off, supposedly because the police officers felt
bothered by the “burbling noises” while they were talking on the telephone.
Since his death to this day, the State Prosecutor, responsible for carrying
out the investigations, has exclusively promoted the theory that Oury Jalloh
Nevertheless, there are simply too many contradictions in their theory:
Why does a lighter first appear in a second inventory taken of the items
found in the cell? How did a lighter enter into the cell when two police
officers carried out a body search of Oury Jalloh? How do they explain the
broken nasal bone and the injuries to the middle ear as found in the second
autopsy organized by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh? What role did
the racist attitude of Dessau’s police play, which was recorded on tape
before and during the fire and made partially public?
On the basis of the ascertainable facts regarding the death of Oury Jalloh
and until it is proved otherwise we will continue to believe and make our
opinion known: Oury Jalloh was murdered.
That all of these contradictions have even been made known to a wider public
has only been possible thanks to the mobilization and engagement of friends
and acquaintances of Oury Jalloh as well as diverse migrant, refugee and
anti-racist organizations, who in spite of the attempts at criminalization
and the persecution of several activists have never given up in fighting for
an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances surrounding the death of
Oury Jalloh as well as justice and reparations.
All of these groups have come together to form the Initiative in Memory of
Finally, after two years of mobilization and public campaigning of the
Initiative, court proceedings are to be held in March against two of the
police involved in the crime. Although we find this to be an important step
in the direction of shedding light on the death of Oury Jalloh, we have
serious doubt as to whether the proceedings will bring either justice or an
exhaustive clarification of the circumstances.
Since Oury’s murder, neither the court nor the State Prosecutor has shown
interest in discovering the truth behind the events in Dessau. Rather, the
case has been plagued by two years of impediments, cover-up and the denial
to cooperate with the lawyers of Oury’s parents. Only for the recognition of
the mother and father as co-plaintiffs in the case did the court need
17 and 15 months to come to a decision, respectively. In addition, the State
Prosecutor refused to allow an x-ray of Oury Jalloh’s corpse to be carried
out with the justification that it simply wasn’t necessary. The second
autopsy, carried out independently in the name of the Initiative in Memory
of Oury Jalloh, demonstrated then demonstrated the serious injuries to
Oury’s nose and middle ear.
But Oury Jalloh was not alone. Dominique Koumadio, for example, was shot and
killed by the police on the 14th of April, 2006. The General Public
Prosecutor has already absolved the police of any crime. The justification?
Self-defense. Indeed, crimes by the police enjoy almost complete impunity,
especially when those crimes are committed against refugees and migrants.
Indeed, German police abuse refugees and migrants on a daily basis, and
physical mistreatment is widespread, though punishment is seldom—if it even
comes that far. In general, it is fair to say that the police, just as
society, is dominated by a racist, inhumane consensus that sees refugees and
migrants in general as sub-humans.
In general, Europe has made it known and enforced the fact that refugees and
migrants, but especially Blacks, are not welcome here. Alone in 2006 more
than 7,000 HUMAN BEINGS were forced into their death by a system which has
systematically and eternally robbed them of their most basic
right: the right to life. Who will pay the price for these murders? Who can
give their families and friends back their loved ones?
These are just some of the reasons why we totally distrust the German legal
It is our responsibility to Oury, his family and all victims and survivors
of racist police violence and even murder to come together and demonstrate
to the court, to the society and to the world that we will not stand
silently by while they continue their crimes in impunity. If we do not come
together to stop this now, how many will follow? Who will be next?
A wide public and political mobilization to accompany the trial and assist
the proceedings as independent observers is of extreme importance. We
therefore call on all progressive sectors and people of solidarity to join
us in Dessau for the entire length of the court proceedings. Vigils, events
and rallies will be organized during the whole duration of the events.
Come to Dessau on March 27th-30th and April 19th-20th. Observe the trial and
participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time.
The Court address:
Landgericht Dessau, Willy-Lohmann-Str. 29, 06844 Dessau
Stay informed at: http://oury-jalloh.so36.net
Info-phone at: 0176-65977644
Donations can be made to: Antirassistische Initiative / Bank für
Sozialwirtschaft / Konto-Nr.: 3039600 / BLZ: 100 205 00 / Stichwort:
COME TO DESSAU!
BREAK THE SILENCE!