[ 03. Feb 2006 ]

First Died Oury Jalloh - Now Mouctar Bah's Telecafé Is To Be Closed.

stop police brutality!

Oury Jalloh, died in a police station in Dessau - tied at his hands and feet. Since his death on the 7th of January, 2005, our demands of truth, justice, and compensation have cynically been met with cover-up, injustice, and impunity.


As if that wasn't enough, now one of the few people who have been engaged in the struggle for the truth about Oury Jalloh's death, Mouctar Bah, a friend of Oury and the representative of his family in Germany, is being criminalized. Those who were involved in Oury Jalloh's death are not.

On the 7th of February, Mouctar Bah's Telecafé in Dessau is to be closed and his commercial license revoked.
The Telecafé seems to have been a constant bother for some people in Dessau. It is a place where Africans living in and around Dessau can meet amongst themselves and speak with their families back home; where they can feel a bit safer than on the streets of Dessau.

Already in 2004 the authorities began attempts to close his store with the justification that food products were being sold illegally. Nevertheless, this accusation proved to be false: Mouctar Bah had a license to sell comestibles. Likewise, a search of his store also found no incriminating evidence which could be used against him. For a year the Administrative Office in Halle had the case before them yet undertook no action. As an official employee of the Administrative Office explained, there was no reason to close his store. But then Oury Jalloh died and Mouctar Bah did that which is to be expected from everybody in a country which claims "Never Again!" Mouctar Bah fought to see that the truth be brought out and justice be done regarding Oury's death and the circumstances surrounding it. Now he is being forced to pay the price: Mouctar Bah is being punished.

Officially it is said that Mouctar Bah tolerates people who sell drugs in the neighboring park to come around his store. There is no word of drugs being bought or sold in his store, nor does any concrete evidence exist. Apparently, the racist attribution "black skin = drug dealers" is enough.

As a result, Mouctar Bah's commercial license is to be revoked-out of "public interest". He has gone through several legal proceedings in order to save his store, all to no avail. Recently, the High Administrative Court of Magdeburg has rejected his appeal. Now, one year after the death of Oury Jalloh, Mouctar Bah has received a letter from the Office of Public Safety (sic!) telling him that his Telecafé must be closed by the 7th of February or it will be closed for him. Consequentially, the means of existence are being taken away from him and his family.

The obvious collaboration between the different state institutions serves to deny any connection whatsoever between racism, the murder of Oury Jalloh, and the closing of Mouctar Bah's Call Shop. Yet both the impunity in the case of the murder of Oury Jalloh and the closure of Mouctar Bah's store in Dessau in such a bureaucratic and silent manner-consistent with the times we are living in-clearly demonstrate such cooperation between the different state institutions and their attempts to cover-up the truth as to the death of Oury Jalloh and to break any resistance against such inhuman and undemocratic measures.

We uphold our demands:

  • Truth, Justice, Compensation!
  • Furthermore, we demand that judicial proceedings which are open to the public begin without delay so that the truth behind the tragic events of the 7th of January be made known to the public.
  • Additionally, we demand an end to the attempts at closing Mouctar Bah's Call Shop and having his commercial license taken away from him.

This press release from 30. Jan 2006 has been a joint publication of: the Refugee Initiative Dessau, the Anti-Racist Initiative Berlin (ARI), the Plataforma of Refugees and Migrants, and THE VOICE Refugee Forum as part of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.