Activists of Refugee Protest Assembly and Public Space are on Trial in Offenburg, Erfurt, Berlin

Reclaim your space

Reclaim your public space: Court Trials on Public Assembly of Refugee Activists in Erfurt, Berlin and Offenburg

Announcement of the hearing of the 1st Court Trial on Public Assembly Orders against Osaren Igbinoba of The VOICE Refugee Forum (Jena). The Court hearing will take place in Erfurt on Wednesday, 27th of November, 2013 at 13.00 h,  Rudolfstraße 46, 99092 Erfurt


I am privileged to inform you all in the interest of the public that we as activists of The VOICE Refugee Forum have resolved to empower our self-determination in solidarity with the migrants communities and other determined activists who want to bring the state abuses of human rights here to an end and defend our fundamental rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association and expression in favour of our freedom of public assembly.


On 18th September 2012, we, the activists of the refugee community in Thüringen and the activists of the refugee protest march, organized together the meeting of press conference of the protest march in Erfurt with about 40 persons including the journalists.  The primary focus of the refugee protest was the abolition of Residenzpflicht - the German apartheid residential obligation that confines refugees to their areas of residence and criminalizes them with prison sentence for leaving their areas of residence. Even without being controlled by police they can be registered by foreigner’s authorities for persecution. Other focuses were the abolition of deportation, isolation camp lagers and the unconditional right to stay. It was also our call to strengthen the struggle against the persecution of refugees here and against the colonial injustice and the Frontex-system of Germany and Europe.

After the demonstration on 18
th September, the official organizer, Osaren Igbinoba, was charged for having offended the law of assembly – for allegedly not having presented steward assistants   of  “ordner” and for not having read the so- called official notification of public assembly regulations to the public

For the first time in the many years of our experiences of demonstration and public assemblies – also in cooperation with the Ordnungsamt Erfurt  - it happened that this same authority charges an official organizer of  The VOICE  for disobeying the official regulations. These regulations amongst others promote the residential restriction law which was the main target of the protest. Thus, this accusation shows: the organizer was expected to remind the participating refugees of the alleged illegality of their presence and to publicly denounce refugees for coming to the public assembly without the permission of entering the city of Erfurt – or in other words:  to execute the racist oppression against refugees in representation of the authority.


We never will compromise with the “Residenzpflicht” -law and order which was partly abolished seven months after the protest in Erfurt and after years of refugee protest in Germany


We will keep the German police and the officials of public authority under control in their collaboration with neo-nazis which they showed during the protest, when during the press conference the neo-nazi counter demonstration was escorted by the police to our rally. The Police never informed or negotiated with us about the counter demonstration of the NPD. This scandalous confrontation with the Neo Nazi racist propagandists and their intimidation of the refugee protest assembly supported by the Police will be revisited for clarification during the process.


The ignorance of the officials of the authority and the police to respect our physical presence did provoke this intimidation by their negligence of themselves and of their responsibility as participants to use the viable tools of communication to negotiate with the organizers of the public assembly.


They refused to inform us about their charges against me by not informing us on the effect of whatever regulation of the authorities’ orders during the assembly.


The conspiracy between the  Ordnungsamt's officials and the police which shows in the scandalous ignorance of human dignity in my physical presence as the so-called responsible organizer after their failed attempt to intimidate our rally by confronting us with about 10 counter fascist demonstrators escorted by the police without further consequence will be protested.

The legal persecution against the organizer of the protest, Osaren Igbinoba, is a sign of a new quality and a new level in the criminalization and intimidation of the public protest of The VOICE Refugee Forum.

Since then we have witnessed the highest numbers of cases of police intentional incitements of violence and brutality or intimidation of refugee assemblies in the 20years of my activism of The VOICE Refugee Forum and as a founding activist of the movement of refugee struggles and protest for our human dignity and integrity in Germany. 

We have witnessed the highest waves of police brutality and intimidation nationwide during the BREAK Isolation Tour 2013 in Thüringen, the refugee liberation tour and the refugee revolution bus tour in Bayern und Baden-Württemberg, in Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Sachsen-Anhalt, Hamburg and Nordrhein-Westfalen against public assemblies of refugee movement protest in public space during and after the protest march last year.


Since June this year several pro-refugee activists from Berlin, Würzburg, Rostock, Stuttgart, Jena and Schwäbisch Gmünd are facing court trials on the issue of their attempt of reclaiming public space and being confronted with police brutality in relation to the Nigerian Embassy protest after the protest march that took place on 15th  October 2012 in Berlin.  Many more will be persecuted and we expect the trial to take few years more to come.

In the faces of these frequent infringements on our fundamental rights to dignity and integrity we will never compromise with this racist intimidation of the authorities and the German police to honor their repression.

We denounce the human caused evils of racist repression by the German authorities and the colonial injustices of the police brutality and intimidation of Refugee PUBLIC ASSEMBLY that have continued unabated in the recent years.

We call to declare our public order for the freedom of the oppressed, of the disadvantaged and of the marginalized communities to enjoy the peace of PUBLIC ASSEMBLY in the interest of the public as we call on everyone in solidarity to ”Reclaim your public space”.


We campaign to drop all the court trials and charges related to refugee public assemblies of the

We aim to contribute to the enjoyment of public assembly which should be guaranteed to most especially the marginalized and disadvantaged minorities who are vulnerable to the racist, nationalist and to the discriminatory propaganda or actions of disproportionate public orders by the authorities which constitute to incite much of the harms and insecurity. These harms and insecurity are provoked by the same authorities and the same police who are “privileged and protected” to prevent conflicts during public assemblies in Germany.  But instead it is them who create the insecurity of the marginalized communities here.


We are calling for the enjoyment of Freedom of movement and Association in Public Space in favour of PUBLIC ASSEMBLY without restriction and regulation of the German authorities.

These court processes are politically charged trials to intimidate the growing refugee movement struggle and the protest of the last decades to reclaim the integrity and human dignity of the refugees and migrants in Germany.


In this context we also must remember the police brutality in Dessau against the activists of the Oury Jalloh Campaign on the 7th January 2012.


It is a clear example of how the Dessau authorities incited the police violence that led to the massive police brutally against activists during the memorial demonstration on 7th of January 2012 by refusing them use the slogan “Oury Jalloh – that was murder!” The slogan was registered with the authority before the first nationwide demonstration in 2006 by the activists of The VOICE Refugee Forum in Dessau. The court hearing process of activists that were brutalized will be starting on the 10th of December, 2013. Info in German: 


Refugees should not be treated as home prisoners in German Europe! Our struggle for a true democracy will always be ignored until the oppressed people have the last word.


Interested activists in Germany are invited to join us to actively to monitor the ongoing trials for records and to strengthen further strategies to make our demands public.

Next court trial on public assembly of refugee activists in Berlin, Erfurt and Offenburg:

Offenburg: Hatef Soltani, Tuesday, 26th of November 18, 2013
Erfurt: Osaren Igbinoba, Wednesday, 27th of November, 2013 at 13.00
Berlin: Mbolo Yufanyi, Monday, 2
nd of December, 2013
Berlin: Rex Osa, 11
th of  December, 2013


The appeal of the activists on trial to combine cases as unified charges of one group and the request of the Ambassador of the Nigerian Embassy have not been granted.  Till now the 15 activists on trial have no option to a group lawyer for the lesser cost of the trial and for a more political approach, all activists are obliged to have individual lawyer for each hearing in the court.

Your financial contribution and solidarity will be necessary to guarantee our fundamental rights to public assembly.

Reclaim – your – public – space and campaign to stop the persecution and the intimidation of Refugee Public Assembly will be powered by the Break Isolation Network in Thüringen and with 20 years of The VOICE Refugee Network testimony on anti-repression and on the authoritarian police brutality during Refugee Public Assembly.


Osaren Igbinoba, The VOICE Refugee Forum (Jena)