[ 15. Sep 2013 ]

Political Resistance is a Human Right! Freedom for Yusuf Tas and Ozgur Aslan

Following a demand of the German authorities, several houses of Turkish migrants in Vienna and Lower Austria were raided on the 26th of June 2013 by German and Austrian police forces.


During these police action human rights activist and member of the legal association Anatolian Federation, Yusuf Tas was taken in custody. Later on Ozgur Aslan was arrested on the 17th July 2013. At the same time 4 members of the Anatolian Federation in Germany were arrested with baseless accusations.

Absurd Accusations

Against the two arrested in Austria there is a request for extradition to Germany. The claims against them neither justify their detention nor their delivery due to extremely abstruse and vague accusations. These include the sale of tickets for a concert of probably the most famous Turkish music group "Grup Yorum", which can occur even legally in Turkey, despite repeated repression. Their concerts take place before hundreds of thousands of people. A recent concert of the group in Istanbul in June this year was attended by record-breaking 550,000 people. Nevertheless, the German state power placed them under general suspicion of terrorism, saying that a concert of the band in Germany with 15,000 participants served to finance a so-called “terrorist organisation” in Turkey. The concert with the titel “One heart and one voice against racism” condemned the murders of the NSU (National-Socialist Underground), who is responsible for the killing of at least 9 migrants in Germany. The absurd thing is that the expenses for the concert were far higher than the income, and that can be easily checked. Apart from this, the German authorities made ​​no effort to prove its allegation in any form.

Arbitrary Criminalization

The prisoners of the Anatolian Federation are also accused of organizing summer youth camps or the distribution of legal political magazines that are not even banned in Turkey. Because all these allegations are untenable before the general public, they make use of a tried and tested tool, which has affected already many progressive and oppositional movements: the construct of "organized crime".

With the help of rubber paragraphs such as the § 129a and 129b (in Austria it is the § 278a, with which the last even animal rights activists, but also some refugees could be criminalized) and adventurous constructs, oppositional, left and revolutionary groups can be labeled as criminal organizations or even as terrorists.

State and right-wing

Contrary to the legend, such arbitrary paragraphs are not designed to use them against the mafia or to combat neo-fascist gangs. For example, the collaboration of the German Secret Service with right-wing groups was proven, as it turns out clearly by each day in the recent NSU process. With the help of repressive laws which were expanded even more in the context of the "war on terror", the entire population, but especially critical opposition and potential resistance can be intimidated and monitored much easier.
By the German cooperation with the NSA, and the U.S. monitoring programs not only its own citizens were spied on behalf of foreign intelligence agencies, but also the data for U.S. drone strikes on civil targets in Afghanistan were given.

Active against right

The Anatolian Federation is an official and legal organization. Among other things it is active against discrimination, human rights violations and racism.
It is obvious that the border-crossing repression also meets the interests of the Turkish government, which doesn't only violently oppress the progressive opposition in its own, but can also persecute its opposition abroad. During the protests against the AKP government in the past months, where millions of people all over the country went on the streets, at least 6 people were purposefully killed by gas granates and bullets. Thousands were affected by tear gas and water canons which contained chemical substances.

German and Turkish Government

The Turkish regime is working closely with Germany. Not only the tear gas, which covered all Turkish cities due to peaceful protests, comes from German stocks, Turkey is also one of the main buyers of German arms exports. Among other things, Turkey was equipped with German "Leopard"- battle tanks and German "Patriot missiles" were installed on the Turkish-Syrian border, in support of the aggressive Turkish foreign policy towards its neighboring countries, and especially the war against Syria. Germany also exported its experiences with “white torture” to Turkey, the Turkish F-type prisons were built with German assistance along the lines of isolation prisons like Stammheim.

Role of the Austrian State

Finally there has to be raised the question of the role of Austria, which obviously enforces German commands here. It's a bit unusual when German police forces carry out house raids houses and arrest people in Austria and the Austrian Justice is degraded as assistant for German demands.
This unfortunately is not an isolated case, this year the family and youth summer camp of the Anatolian Federation in Carinthia was attacked by a massive police presence, accompanied by German plain-clothes policemen.

Solidarity is Required

Both prisoners are on hunger strike - Yusuf Tas since 1 August and Ozgur Aslan since 4 - to protest against the injustice of their arrests and against their planned deportation to Germany. They are already in a very critical health situation and their life is in danger.

The Committee for the Defense of Political Fundamental Rights supports their demands for their immediate release, the rejection of the extradition, as well as the end of criminalization of solidarity work and anti-racist commitment.

This time it concerns members of the Anatolian Federation. But we are all meant.
We want to oppose border-crossing repression with our international solidarity.

• Let's combat the criminalization of political resistance!
• Free all political prisoners!
• Immediate release of Yusuf Tas and Ozgur Aslan!
• Long live International Solidarity!

Committee for the Defense of Political Fundamental Rights

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