German police sentenced over deportation death (vom 24.10.2004),
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[24. Oct 2004]

German police sentenced over deportation death

Three German border police officers were given suspended nine-month prison sentences by a court on 18 October 2004 over the death of Aamir Ageeb during his forced deportation from Frankfurt airport.

On 29 May 1999 the officers accompanied the 30-year-old Aamir Ageeb - who strongly resisted them - on a flight aboard a Lufthansa plane to Khartoum.

The court in Frankfurt, Germany, had been told the officers had bound Ageeb"s arms and legs, shackled him by rope to his seat and placed a helmet over his head which was pressed down on his chest to keep him silent. They pressed the bound man into his chair with such force that he suffocated.

Ageeb, who had arrived in Germany in 1994 as a refugee from Sudan"s civil war, was pronounced dead shortly afterwards and he was taken off the plane making an unscheduled stop at Munich.

The court found the three officers guilty on a charge of assault causing bodily harm with fatal consequences. The court also criticised the border police authority for serious failures in the training of officers used in deportations.

The prosecution had called for prison terms of one year each for the three officers, while the defence said the defendants should be cleared.

The trial was closely followed by human rights groups including Amnesty International and Pro Asyl.