Hungary: refugee given 10 year sentence for rebellion at Röszke border crossing

 (Reposted from rabble)

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On Wednesday, a court in Szeged, Hungary, sentenced Ahmed H. to 10 years’ imprisonment plus expulsion for the unrest at the Röszke/Horgos border crossing in September 2015.

Ahmed is a Syrian refugee. He was convicted of ‘terrorism’ and ‘illegal border crossing’, and given a 10 year sentence for having been seen using a megaphone and throwing stones. The reality is that they needed to pluck out and parade and some kind of leader-figure from the chaotic, mass rebellion that has played out not just at Roszke, but time and again at different border bottlenecks across Europe over the past few years. He was shackled by the hands and feet and literally held on a leash during the trial.

Migszol, a Hungarian migrant solidarity group, explains the background to the case:

“Ahmed was arrested a bit more than a year ago, shortly after the 15th of September 2015, when the Hungarian government closed its border with Serbia. During the night, irregular border crossing into Hungary became a criminal offence. Hundreds of people who wanted to move on to find international protection were blocked at the Röszke–Horgos border crossing without legal information and extremely limited support. Some people started to protest to move on.

The situation got increasingly tense until it escalated and police started using tear gas and water cannons and protesters were throwing stones. Ahmed H., was among those who communicated with a megaphone between the crowd of protestors and the police, tried to calm both sides down and later also started throwing stones. When the counter-terrorist police force attacked the waiting crowd, ten people of the crowd – among them Ahmed’s parents, with whom he was travelling to support them on their way to Germany to seek international protection and medical help – were arbitrarily singled out and arrested in the police operation, as they were among those who could not leave quickly enough due to their age and health problems. These ten people were brought to court and accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation”. Ahmed was brutally arrested later at a train station and imprisoned, waiting more than a year for his verdict.

The other ten arrested people who were accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation” had a separate trial, which ended in July this year. They were sentenced to 1-3 years of imprisonment and expulsion from Hungary up to 10 years, although the video material showed clearly that they were not actively participating in the protest. The trial was absurd in many aspects: beginning with the arbitrary arrests and the lack of evidence. Although most of the accused should have waited for their verdict in ‘house arrest’, they were unlawfully detained for 9 months in very bad conditions.

The others were also in pretrial detention. There were mistranslations which completely changed the meaning of the statement of one of the accused. The judge also refused to take into account important evidence by the defence, did not take into account the asylum application of some of the accused and the legal obligations of the Hungarian state connected to such an application and ignored important facts of the events of that day, such as the lack of legal information and the massive police violence on the spot. The lawyers and the prosecutor appealed. Two of the 10 people – Kamel J. and Yamen A. are still imprisoned.

As the previous hearings made clear, the biased questions and selection of testimonies by the court aimed at establishing Ahmed as the leader of the protest and a terrorist. Most witnesses invited to speak in front of the court were policemen. Even though the police testimonies were often contradictory or very vague (“it could also have been another man with a beard”), the described injuries of the police during the protest were used as a basis for arguing that Ahmed was leading an “attack against the Hungarian state”. Other witnesses, among them 24 independent journalists, volunteers and Ahmed’s wife, were refused by the court, along with an interview made in the protest in which Ahmed explains that the conditions were very bad and people were getting more and more upset without him being able to calm them down any more.

Further, the court was trying to establish a connection between terrorism and Ahmed’s religion, pointing out how Ahmed was travelling to India (to study about the Quran and visit friends) and Saudia Arabia (for Hajj) and how he is practicing his religion actively. With this the court is in line with the general racist tendency of equation of Islam with terrorism, a linkage commonly made in Hungary not only in relation to Islam, but to refugees and migrants also in general.

Made possible through the vague formulation of Hungarian terrorism law and its political use, Ahmed’s participation and mediation in the protest was found as “terrorist act”. Both Ahmed’s lawyer and the state prosecutor have appealed. The state prosecutor demanding an even harsher prison sentence.”

A solidarity protest took place in the court when the sentenced was announced. A demo has also been called in Budapest for 3rd December, but people are encouraged to pay a visit to their local embassies and representatives of the Hungarian state.

With rage and solidarity let’s keep fighting for: Freedom for Ahmed, Kamel and Yamen!

Friday the 16th of December; BDS fundraiser at the Plough!

Join us at the Plough for a night of rebellion! Raising cash money for Bristol Defendant Solidarity, who support anyone arrested or imprisoned as a result of demos, riots, direct action and escalating class war. We also stand in solidarity with all people facing harassment from the state. Also on Facepalm.

no-borders-plough-gig-posterDJs:

Gitsurfer (Ska / reggae)
Blakazone ( Dub / reggae)
Black Rainbow (Asian bass and beats)
Dub Boy (Soca / bashment / dancehall)
Disorda (Jungle)

The Plough Inn, 223 Easton Road, Easton BS5 0EG.
Friday 16th December.
9pm – 2am.


£3 donation.

See ya there!

Prison strike organiser Kinetik Justice is in danger for his life

On October 21, 2016 Robert Earl Council (aka Kinetik Justice Amun) went
on a Hunger Strike based on threats against his life from the Alabama
Department of Corrections (ADOC) administration and staff. He was
transferred to a supermax facility, and water was shut off in his cell
in an effort to force him out of his hunger strike. His transfers
happened after the media exposed the ADOC during a nationwide prison
strike to demand changes to prison conditions and unpaid labor.

As of November 8, 2016, Kinetik Justice is in danger for his life, and
organisers are calling for action.

Kinetik has been inside for over 22 years and is a co-founder of the
Free Alabama Movement which has organized successful work stoppages to
demand basic human rights and has provided education and legal support
to hundreds of incarcerated people.

CALL WITH DEMANDS TODAY: Call the Alabama Department of Corrections and
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s office demanding 1) that Kinetik
Justice be transferred from Limestone Correctional Facility; and 2) that
Pastor Kenneth Glasgow of The Ordinary People’s Society be allowed to
visit him and assess his condition immediately.

Alabama Department of Corrections
Montgomery, Alabama
(334) 353-3883 [1]
webmaster@doc.alabama.gov

Governor Robert Bentley
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7100 [2]

FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE:

https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/

http://theordinarypeoplesociety.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZuuFZDq9Yk

http://youtu.be/7L_h2nVceJc

Azerbaijan: torture and 12 years of prison for anarchist graffiti

"Joyeux journée des esclaves"On May 10, 2016, two anarchists Bayram Mammadov and Giyas Ibrahimov were arrested by police in Baku for tagging a monument dedicated to the glory of former president, and father of the current one, Heydar Aliyev. The graffiti said “Fuck the system” and “Happy slave day”. These were painted on the evening before Aliyev’s birthday, which is a holiday in support of the state in Azerbaijan. Just tagging the statue would have earned a year in prison, but that was not enough for the police who also charged them with carrying a kilo of heroin each. Bayram was arrested around 2.30 pm as he was photographing the graffiti, and was taken to the police station where he was beaten and threatened to be raped with a stick until he signed a confession, including for drugs. He was then offered a deal: apologise by laying flowers in front of the Aliyev monument and in front of the television. The next day, he was brought in front of a judge and asked to give names of other people who were involved. The humiliations and beatings continued for several days, sometimes filmed by the police.

On the 25th of October Giyas Ibrahimov was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Bayrams trial is still outstanding, but it is to be expected that his sentence will be between eight and twelve years imprisonment. Both anarchists suffer heavy repression and torture in the prison.

qiyas-ibrahimov-tribunalWe call for solidarity with the both concerned comrades!
Freedom for Bayram and Giyas!
Freedom for all prisoners!

Get more information, and listen to Giyas’s sentencing statement, here.

Turkey moves towards re-establishment of the death penalty

Turkish President Erdogan said on the 29th of October that the restoration of the death penalty would be submitted to Parliament, adding that the criticisms made about it by Western countries “do not count”. During a speech in Ankara, in response to the crowd chanting “we want the death penalty” for the authors of the failed coup in July, Erdogan said: “Our government will submit it to Parliament and I am convinced that Parliament will approve it, then I will ratify it. ”

The death penalty in peacetime was abolished in 2001 (while hanging Abdullah Ocalan, who had just been brought to Turkey, was discussed) and the death penalty in wartime was abolished in 2004 in a relative consensus. More than 35,000 people were arrested in Turkey and a total of 82,000 have been investigated since the attempted coup on the 15th of July. Out of those who were investigated, 26,000 had all charges dropped.

Erdogan

More anarchists arrested in Italy

At dawn on September 6, a police operation in Turin led to the raids of around thirty houses and arrests of five anarchists, who were then charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, in regards to the FAI. The arrestees are Anna, Marco, Sandrone, Danilo and Valentina, as well as the ongoing investigations of Nicola and Alfredo, who are already imprisoned.

The eight anarchists targeted in the police operation “Scripta Manentare in four different prisons, and in high security “AS2” wings. They are all in isolation, but can receive post. Alfredo Cospito and Anna Beniamino are in hunger strike since 3 and 10 October respectively, against the isolation regime.

Here are everyone’s addresses, write to them to show that we care, and we won’t forget them!

BISESTI Marco : Strada Alessandria, 50/A – 15121 San Michele, Alessandria (AL)
MERCOGLIANO Alessandro : Strada Alessandria, 50/A – 15121 San Michele, Alessandria (AL)
BENIAMINO Anna : Via Aspromonte, 100 – 04100 – Latina LT
CREMONESE Danilo Emiliano : Str. delle Campore, 32 – 05100 Terni TR
SPEZIALE Valentina : Via Aspromonte, 100 – 04100 – Latina LT
COSPITO Alfredo et Nicola sont détenu à Ferrara AS2
CORTELLI Daniele : Str. delle Campore, 32 – 05100 Terni TR

L'opération policière "Scripta Manent"

18th November, protest against Close Supervision Centres at the HM Inspectorate of Prisons, London

The Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system is the English version of American supermax prison conditions, indefinite solitary confinement within the most oppressive and brutal environment found in this country, which can appropriately be called torture camps. Psychological warfare is used upon its victims on a constant basis, with frequent physical attacks supplementing the arbitrary punishment. As only around 50 prisoners fall victim to the CSC at any one time its existence is largely unknown even amongst the general prison population, so it is not surprising that the wider public are so poorly informed that almost no-one protests that taxes are being spent to torment vulnerable captives who are also British citizens. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of prisons (HMIP) is tasked with the role of reporting on all places of detention within the country, with a decreasing level of funding for the prison system whilst prisoner numbers continue to rise it is inevitable that more and more failings and inadequacies will be identified by them. Considering the CSC is the violation of international and European law, as well as being morally reprehensible for both its design and implementation, you would expect HMIP to dedicate its times exposing the secretive system with the goal of achieving its abolition but at least securing desperately needed reforms. When the entire prison system can be seen to be declining in the level of treatment it provides, it is obvious that those already at the harsh end will suffer the most. HMIP chooses to pretend that the CSC does not exist rather than tackle the deplorable, less attention is paid to the worst part of the prison system than any other which is simply inexcusable. Since I was first allocated to the CSC in March 2010, HMIP have only once ‘inspected’ the CSC. Although they were provided with extensive detail of the abuses which were taking place, they chose to omit all of the most serious and gloss over those that actually made it into the report. HMIP effectively endorsed the torture regime which had the obvious consequence of life on the CSC becoming more anguished, and have not even bothered to perform their mandatory follow-up ‘inspection’ to see the effects of their actions. The suicide of Joanne Latham (AKA Eddie Brown, AKA Edward Latham) on the CSC has been one of the direct results of the continuing deterioration, but also of the structure of the CSC itself which causes severe mental illness and exacerbates preexisting medical issues amongst its residents so much so that around 50% end up damaged to the extent it becomes necessary for them to be removed from prison to one of the high secure mental health hospitals (Broadmoor, Brampton, Ashworth). I sent a detailed complaint to HMIP after reading their cover-up report (http://solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/HMCIP_CSC_Report_2015.pdf) but received nothing more than a fob off in reply evidencing that their substandard work was intentional. Although this was done as a parting gesture from the departing Chief Inspector presumably to secure another governmental employment, the incumbent Chief Inspector along with the rest of his office have done absolutely nothing about it.

It is about time that HMIP learned they can no longer ignore the CSC system or be allowed to prop-up its existence with corrupt reports, the CSC has been in operation since 1998 and must be condemned as the abomination it is. To achieve this end, I am calling on every person with some level of compassion and humanity for their fellow man and all those disgusted at what their taxes are funding to attend a demonstration protest outside the offices of HMIP. This has been organised to take place on:

Friday 18th November 2016 from 12.30pm – 2.30pm at HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 6th Floor, Victory House, Kingsway, London, WC2B 6EX,

and all those unable to attend are encouraged to write demanding they address the CSC system immediately either directly or through their MP for greater impact. Support can also be shown as well as more being found out about the horror of the CSC by visiting the website WWW.JUSTICEFORKEVAN.COM, joining the group at www.facebook.com/justiceforkev, signing the petition on www.change-org/p/justice-for-kevan, or by writing to:

Kevan Thakrar A4907AE,
HMP Wakefield,
5 Love Lane,
Wakefield,
West Yorkshire,
WF2 9AG.