key Call 2020

1. Custody pending deportation is institutional racism

2. Deportation detention and segregation detention in “Corona times”

1. Custody pending deportation is institutional racism

The term Custody pending deportation is a frequently misunderstood term.
Many people live in Germany their whole lives, others have fled here only recently. But often they are denied residence and have to leave Germany.
Deportation detention is used as a means to force deportation. This means deprivation of liberty, only to be able to enforce the bureaucratic act of deportation more effectively. An example of this is the deportation prison in Büren, the largest deportation prison in Germany, which is located very close by in the district of Paderborn.

In “Corona times” the system of deportation detention leads itself ad absurdum. People are taken into custody to be deported without the possibility of deportation.

For the fugitives themselves, deportation detention is already not comprehensible. They often ask why – when they have not done anything wrong.

“We are psychologically very burdened by the duration of deportation detention, the uncertainty and fear of what awaits us in our home countries. At the same time, we feel very helpless in detention because we often feel misunderstood or mistreated by the authorities,” deportation prisoners from Büren wrote in a letter in 1999 – the year when Rachid Sbaai was also burned in deportation custody.

At the time of his death, Rachid was locked in an isolation cell because he committed a foul at a football match. He was only in detention because the authorities wanted to deport him.

On August 30th 1999, Rachid Sbaai suffocated in agony in a fire in his cell. So far it is not clear why the staff did not react or reacted too late to the triggered alarm from Rachid and a friend from the neighbouring cell.
Rachid Sbaai is one of 4 people who died in the Büren deportation prison.

Abolish deportation custody – Freedom matters!

We have all heard it – “Black lives matter!” The movement makes clear how many (institutional) racisms are still common in our society.
Deportation detention is only one example of a racist practice. Deportation custody means deprivation of liberty for usually traumatized people without a German passport.

The deprivation of liberty is aggravated by the partly inhuman circumstances in deportation prisons. Racist attitudes, up to and including maltreatment by prison staff as well as isolation imprisonment for suicidal persons happen on a daily basis! Opportunities for complaints or legal defence, simply do not work in practice – deportation prisons thus become a black box closed to human rights organisations and the public.

Racism has a tradition in the 101-year-old history of deportation prisons.
We say: Enough!
Rachid Sbaai died on August 30th!
On August 29th we protest against deportation detention every year!
Off to Büren!
Let’s open all the cells!
Together we demand the abolition of deportation imprisonment!

2. Deportation detention and segregation detention in “Corona times”

In Europe, and especially in Germany, racist behavior was intensified in “Corona times”.
The situation at European external borders is more untenable than ever. While laws were pushed through, which openly promoted dying in the Mediterranean Sea, the misery of refugees brought to the Greek Islands, while most remained passive bystanders.

There is one thing in particular to be said about deportation detention in “Corona times”:
In our estimation all deportation prisons must be closed, because the deportation itself can and will not take place at all, as there are no flights. This is however the only legal reason for the Deportation custody. Instead, however, people continue to be taken into deportation custody.

At the same time, the prison conditions were tightened in Corona times. There was a general ban on visits.
This makes access to legal representation considerably more difficult and worsens the already immense psychological strain on the detainees due to the isolation.

Furthermore, due to Corona, a new racist form of imprisonment was enforcement/introduced in the deportation prison Büren:
Fugitives, who have to remain in quarantine in overcrowded mass accommodations,where the most important corona-hygiene rules cannot be observed at all, get a racist special treatment here in Germany because of corona – the segregation detention.

If people with a German passport violate corona rules, they are in the worst case put into special
closed hospital areas. However, refugees are locked up in deportation custody for the same offences.

This is institutional racism and must stop!
Unlimited solidarity with refugees!

Take to the streets with us!
We resolutely demand the abolition of deportation detention!
Release the people! Give everyone a key!