Those barbed wires… Even seeing them from a distance makes you feel shaking cold. The prison’s parking lot is full of cars, there are no other visitors just employees, what gives you the feeling that half of that small town works in the prison. During the conversation with the guards, they are correcting us to not use the term “prison”, because it is a closed type of “reception center”, as if there would be any difference between these two damn institutions.
We came here to visit Ahmed, who was released from the prison on the 19th of January after 3 1/2 years.
The trial is over. We are somehow speechless, captured between hope and rage about the conviction. We need to reflect upon the final verdict and will soon publish a statement. For now, all our thoughts and messages are with Ahmed!
Nonetheless we share with you a statement of the international observation delegation, amongst others formed by European Civic Forum and Swiss Democratic Lawyers:
(get their pdf in English // Deutsch // Francais)
It has been three years since Ahmed H. is arrested. Terrible three years, since the criminal state of Hungary is keeping him as a hostage in the isolation of Venyige prison (Budapest).
Ahmed has been waiting in incarceration for another six months, for the next chapter of this badly performed political theatre play, the continuation of his trial, which will take place on the 20th September in Szeged. What can we expect from the coming court hearing? Wrong question. No matter what the rhetoric of the second level court will be, no matter what they pretend, we all know:
there is NO JUSTICE on state court. Ahmed H’s immediate freedom is the only acceptable outcome.
Repeating the same sentences over the last three years became so bitter that we don't know what is more painful: our screams in a society, which is pacified by the racist and sexist ethno-nationalist state propaganda, while the local oligarchy and international capital ransacks it; or the silence of the so-called „alternative scene” which remains after each court hearing.
Although there are people who can finally visit Ahmed twice a month, he still does not receive letters even from these contact persons.
Since June this year, there is a ban on food packages. It means that Ahmed (and all other prisoners) are not allowed to receive any food from outside. The expensive, online prison shop with choco-candy products of terrible quality is the only platform to order food from. As Ahmed cannot eat most of the prison food, he was depending completely on the packages that his family and friends were sending him. The control of food consumption is another strategy of the state to increase the torture of prisoners and make the prison system even more profitable.
Let’s not forget the brutal attack of the Hungarian state on demonstrators for free movement on the 16th of September 2015! By remembering and speaking up against the violence that no court will mention, we resist the creation of another manipulative historical narrative, that only serves to legitimize the violence of a nation-state.
Let’s speak up and act against the everyday police violence on the borders (and the streets, and institutions, everywhere)! The so called „Balkan route” is not closed, just the tariffs of travelling increased and the journey became more dangerous.
For all those who share the pain and the anger we call to show solidarity with Ahmed in all forms!
REVOLUTIONARY SOLIDARITY WITH ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
AGAINST PRISONS, STATES, AND CAPITAL!
FREEDOM TO AHMED H.!
Next trial against Ahmed H. on the 20th September 2018 in Hungary
Call for solidarity and international trial observation in Szeged, Hungary
On the 20th of September 2018, the trial of the Hungarian State against Ahmed H. is going to the second level of court – for the second time.
20th of September, 9 am
Re-Trial of 2nd level court
Szegedi Ítélőtábla (Regional Court of Appeal)
Sóhordó utca 5
Ahmed H. has been convicted for “terrorism” in Hungary, because he has been protesting with thousands of refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border crossing of Röszke in September 2015, when Hungary suddenly closed its borders to the people traveling through. The case against Ahmed H. is a political show trial by the current Fidesz government of Victor Orbán.
To stir up their racist rhetoric’s, they needed a scapegoat to keep up the fear of the apparent “Muslim terrorist invaders”. They constructed absurd allegations against Ahmed, with no evidence to ground them (read our report on the last trial here). On the first instance court in March 2018 (held for the second time), Ahmed has been sentenced to 7 years in prison. This was just before the presidential elections. The Orbán government has not been shy in constructing Ahmed as proof of the foreign threat of which Orbán wants to protect Hungary and Europe. The defense, as well as the prosecution have appealed against the decision.
Now, the second instance court will decide again. We cannot let Ahmed H. alone in this absurd trial. As he has pointed out, if we ignore his trial, he might be only the first victim of this new far-right juridical system: “If they can punish me, they can punish everyone. Through this trial they create a new law. I was just one person in a crowd of many people and they punish me for terrorism. If they do this to me, they can also do this for any other people in a crowd in the future."
Ahmed has already spent three years in Jail. He needs to get out now!
We need to be present, monitor the trial and show solidarity with Ahmed H.!
Spread the Information!
Come to Szeged!
Show your rage to the Hungarian Government!
stay tuned: @freetheroszke11
Some days ago we visited Ahmed in jail, which is absorbing the massive heat of the current period, especially the cells facing the sun, like Ahmeds.
The prison administration has introduced a new prison online-shopping system, so that relatives and friends cannot send packages to the people in prison any longer. Only goods that are purchased in this privately-owned online shop will be forwarded to the inmates. Thereby the shopping guidelines allow only one unit of honey or 5 chocolate bars per purchase. Absurd, but nonetheless the logical consequence of a neoliberal prison complex, producing, restricting and at the same time profiting of the prisoners.
Of course the variety of products is minimalistic. Ahmed drew the conclusion: "they don't let us have the food we need, because they don't want us to feel human in here."
We talked about the upcoming trial on September 20th 2018 and Ahmed pointed out its political character: "I just realized why they are doing it: If they can punish me, they can punish everyone. Through this trial they create a new law. I was just one person in a crowd of many people and they punish me for terrorism. If they do this to me, they can also do this for any other people in a crowd in the future." But also aware of the racism within Europe he added: „Though I wonder, would they do the same to a EU citizens? to a German? or an US citizen? Would they? I don't think so! They can just do this to me because I am from Syria."
After our visit, Ahmed was expecting a visits from a journalist. Media outlets do not visit in the common visitation room with glass in between and neither in Ahmeds cell, he tells us. Interviews with journalists always happen in a nicer cell in a another block, which is presented as his own.
On Aug. 7, after being postponed twice, the trial for the riot in Harmanli started. We are sharing the call for solidarity from Sofia here:
This letter is addressing the Hungarian Ambassador in Switzerland. The letter is written by the European Civic Forum. They are calling to send the letter also to other Hungarian authorities.
You can download their prepared letters here (German, French, English).
See below the Hungarian translation.
Dear all who supported Ahmed H. financially at the last crowdfunding!
As some of you might have seen, the amount that you donated was transferred back by Indiegogo to you bank account. Unfortunately, Generosity, the website we used for the crowdfunding campaign was devoured by another international corporation called GoFundMe, and all the money that was not withdrawn from the website was sent back to the donors. It means, the campaign lost the whole amount of the second crowdfuning campaign ("Justice for Ahmed H. - Foundraising for the lawyer), which is 2650 $. The money would have been used directly to finance the lawyer, whose fee is a large amount of money and is still not completely covered. If your financial capacities still allow you, we'd like to ask you to donate the money again on the bank account mentioned below. Ahmed H. and his family still really needs your support and solidarity!
Free the Röszke 11 Solidarity Network
Account holder: Rote Hilfe e.V. Ortsgruppe Frankfurt
Catchword: Röszke 11
IBAN: DE24 4306 0967 4007 2383 90
The following statement was written from memory about the talks with Ahmed during a visit to him inside prison and is therefore more a summary of some parts the conversation than a complete statement written by him. Also he continues to be isolated from the outside world: Although at least the officially accepted 'contact persons' should be allowed to send letters to him, at the moment all letters are hold back from him. He is told, that only postcards are allowed, however, also they don't reach him. The picture shows him with one of his daughters several years ago, before he was confronted with the EU's criminalization of migration and protest.
"I am so much tired of all this process and waiting. Now the only important thing for me is to see my family again. I need to be patient and strong. It is very hard for me to wait the next month for a further trial in second level court. But if it’s like this I will be strong enough to accept. I am working on the application to go to Cyprus after the verdict.
Now the second level court has to decide. I still have the idea that something good will happen. The judge of the last trial said basically to me you are not a terrorist, but part of the crowd who was rioting. So it is only a game, for the election, for political power.
How can they still say I am a terrorist? All the court process showed that they have no evidence against me really. All we watched was video material where I did nothing. On the border they attacked us. You can see on the video we are even shouting that we love Hungary. And now, we are the terrorists?
I have a big pain in my heart. Because people have only hatred. People wear like blinders, they don’t see reality, they only see their prejudice. There is just hatred, hatred every day. Why they have this image of muslim that they are terrorist? They just have some picture in mind, that they spread. For me Islam is the religion of peace and love. Ok, they have an interests and that’s why they used my case to show that all muslims are terrorist. It’s for a political reason. But now they reached their aim, why don’t they stop? Why do they want to destroy me, a father of 2 kids? They want to play God?
We are all humans. We should see society like a garden. A mix of all kind of flowers, of all kind of colors. That is what creates a beautiful garden."
Today the court trial against the MORIA 35 started in Chios Island. To show solidarity with them, a banner was dropped in Thessaloniki (Greece):
Here is one text from Ubuntu-Wahada about the current cases of criminalization of migrant protests in Greece taken from their website:
On July 18, 2017, migrants in the Moriah camp went on protest against the awful conditions that continue to prevail. The cops attacked them and the protest ended in beatings and arrests.
35 people were arrested (all of them of African origin) without any evidence or criteria, except for the color of their skin. They are charged for: (a) Arson by intent from which a hazard may arise for a person, jointly. (b) Dangerous physical harm, attempted as well as executed to the detriment of police and fire brigade officers, jointly and repeatedly. (c) Damage in form of arson of foreign ownership and of an object that serves a common benefit, jointly and repeatedly. (d) Resistance performed by more than one person, who had their faces covered and carried potentially dangerous objects. 30 of them are imprisoned in the prisons of Avlona, Korydallos and Chios, where they will be detained until their trial, which will take place on April 20, 2018. In addition, two more migrants are detained on similar charges (for a revolt that took place in Moria on July 10, 2017) and will be tried on May 11, 2018. Eight more migrants are detained in various prisons around the country, on heavy charges and will go on trial on April 27, 2018, because a year ago and after months of detention they dared to ask how long they would remain in administrative detention at Petrou Ralli.
FREEDOM NOW FOR “MORIA 32” & “PETROU RALLI 8” DETAINED MIGRANTS!
NO CHARGES FOR THOSE WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS
OPEN BORDERS FOR ALL MIGRANTS
TRIAL OF MORIA 35: APRIL 20, CHIOS ISLAND
Also here you can find more information about three cases of migrants protest criminalization in Greece & an Overview about the upcoming dates:Trial of the Moria 35: April 20, Chios island.
Trial of No Lager 3: April 23, Courthouse of Drama
Trial of Petrou Ralli 8: April 27, Athens
Trial for the July 10 (2017) riots in Moria: May 11, 2018.
Also there is a call out for transnational solidarity actions!
Our solidarity is stronger than their prison walls and fences!
Free all prisoners of Fortress Europe!
WRITE POSTCARDS AND LETTERS TO AHMED H.!
Verein zur Förderung feministischer Projekte
HELP WITH YOUR DONATIONS!
Please help Ahmed to finance his legal assistance and other expenses!
Account holder: Rote Hilfe e.V. Ortsgruppe Frankfurt
Catchword: Röszke 11
IBAN: DE24 4306 0967 4007 2383 90
The website is the part of an international campaign to support the 11 accused of the Roszke trials in Hungary. We created the site to collect and to facilitate to spread information. We invite everybody to join to the campaign, let's fight against injustice! Nobody can be silenced!
Free the Harmanli 21!
Free the Moria 35!
No Border Timisoara
Freedom for Mahmoud A.