Introduction to deportation dossier

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“The 40-year old mother Joy Gardner suffocated in her apartment in 1993 after she was tied and gagged by the police men responsible for her deportation [as happened in Great Britain, SFR]. Hands tied behind the back, tied feet, police men who push down the head or create massive pressure on the chest of the people affected – measures like these and similar ones repeatedly caused people’s death in the course of their deportation. As it happened in the case of 27-year old Nigerian Samson Chukwu dying in a Swiss deportation camp in 2001 or in the case of 31-year old Christian Ecole Ebune in the terminal of a Budapest airport a year before. Both of them had tried to escape from the authorities. The 27-year old Palestinian Khaled Abuyarifeh succeeded in preventing his first deportation. He protested what caused the pilot to reject Abuyarifeh to board the plane. When Swiss officials tried to deport him the second time they tied him to a wheelchair and gave him additional sedatives. In an elevator Abuzarifeh had to vomit and suffocated on his vomit.” (Oulios 2015: 51f)

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Original: „Die 40-jährige Mutter Joy Gardner erstickte 1993, nachdem die mit der Abschiebung beauftragten Polizisten die Jamaikanerin in ihrer Wohnung gefesselt und geknebelt hatten [so geschehen in Großbritannien, Anm. SFR]. Auf dem Rücken gefesselte Hände, Fesseln an den Füßen, Polizisten, die zusätzlich den Kopf nach unten hebeln oder massiven Druck auf den Brustkorb der Betroffenen ausüben – solche und ähnliche Maßnahmen führten wiederholt zum Tod bei Abschiebungen. Bei dem 27-jährigen Nigerianer Samson Chukwu, der 2001 in einem Schweizer Abschiebelager starb, ebenso wie beim 31-jährigen Kameruner Christian Ecole Ebune ein Jahr zuvor im Abfertigungsbereich des Budapester Flughafens. Beide hatten versucht, vor den Beamten zu fliehen. Der 27-jährige Palästinenser Khaled Abuzarifeh hatte seine erste Abschiebung verhindern können, weil er protestierte und der Pilot sich daraufhin weigerte mitzuwirken. Beim zweiten Versuch hatten Schweizer Beamte ihn an einen Rollstuhl gefesselt und ihm zusätzliche Beruhigungsmittel verabreicht. Im Fahrstuhl am Flughafen musste Abuzarifeh sich übergeben und erstickte am Erbrochenen.“ (Oulios 2015: 51f)

Violence and deportation go hand in hand. Irregular reports about single cases cause a short outcry but quickly disappear in public discourse. Only, those are not single cases. Deportations are enforcement measures, enforcing means, something needs to be executed against the will of another person. Against the will of people who do not want to go back. Who do not want to go back so badly that they are willed to commit suicide even if they do not see any other option in their situation. The freelancing author Miltiadis Oulious presents numbers from Great Britain. 57 people under threat of deportation committed suicide in that country only between 1989 and 2006 (cf. ebd.). Not all German states with detention centers for deportation have statistics like these. On the basis of the numbers of those who do, one can speak of at least eight suicide attempts and 17 self-injuries in those prisons ever since 2012. They expose the unstable situation of innocent people, violently detained for the purpose of their deportation (cf. BT-Drs. 18/7196: 108ff)

Also Saxony deported 3.377 people in 2016. And in Saxony too, violence was not avoided. Saxon Refugee Council perceived the year of 2016 as incredibly brutal. The documentation of the council and other NGOs mirrors concrete human rights violations, giving that perception substance. Various actors from civil society noticed how one after the other moral and legal line was crossed step by step. In the relentless pace that was dictated by the deportation measures, families were separated, pregnant and sick people were deported and kids were handcuffed. Our point is: those are not single cases. The violence that is expressed in Saxon deportation practice as well is the answer to the political question raised by escape an migration. Deportations, the concept of “Safe Countries of Origin” as well as the externalization of EU-borders all together are measurements that speak the language of those who want to prevent people from escaping. We do not hold those answers for tenable. We hold those answers for only temporary measures who only postpone the answer to that question. We know what those measurements do to people, everyone knows that. The only question is if the individual wants to look at what happens in the countries of origin and on the escape routes. And at what happens again and again in Saxony as well whenever people are taken out of their apartments in the middle of the night. We want to enable people to look at it with this dossier because we want to give another answer to the political question of escape and migration. And exactly because the question is so big and so many smaller, but even more complex and multifaceted question result out of it, we want to show people what deportation means. We want to expose the problems that come with deportation and to present the right to move and the right to stay for everyone. We want to give legal advice to people who want to stay and show them where they could get support. We want to present the stories of people who had to endure deportation. We want that people think about what happened to 3.377 people who lived in Saxon cities, towns and villages until 2016. So people might ask themselves if the price that is paid here could be too high. And who may ask themselves for what a price is being paid here actually? For security or for the nation already? And where does the first start and the last end?

The political rhetoric as well as the concrete measurements in legislation and its enforcement – all of that currently speaks a different language. US-president Donald Trump’s executive orders on asylum and migration policy are the only most prominent examples. But other voices are needed who speak another language. This must be possible in Saxony too. This is why we will publicly document and critically supervise the human rights violations of the year of 2017 here on our website. We call upon everybody who shares our position to position him*herself against deportation, to participate in exposing its faults and to support people under threat of deportation with all options available. We want the right to move to become reality.

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