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Coalition for the Immediate End to the 129a Proceedings

Press Release

Berlin, 15th October

  • Appeal lodged against the continued custodial remand of Axel H., Oliver R. and
    Florian L.
  • Federal Court to take no decisions before 18th October

The German Federal Court of Justice has yet again postponed its deadline for
deciding on the Federal Prosecution?s appeal against the release of Andrej H.
on bail. “We cannot expect a decision before October 18th”, commented
Cristina Clemm who is legally representing Andrej H.

The Court has announced it will make a categorical decision with respect to the
current case against the “mg” (militant group). In light of this, the
lawyers of three further accused, Axel H., Oliver R. and Florian L., have now
lodged an appeal against the continued custodial remand of their clients.

Lawyer Stephan Schrage explained the background to the appeal: "Apart from the
fact that there has been no evidence provided that the accused are members of
the ‘mg’, a crime investigated under § 129a legislation demands that the
attacks of the group must have been able to severely damage the State or ‘be
capable of removing or substantially encroaching upon the fundamental
political, constitutional, economic or social structures of the State’. This
I cannot detect either in an arson attack on three army vehicles or any of the
other attacks for which the “mg” is currently being held responsible."

Florian L., Axel H., and Oliver R. have been in custody in Berlin-Moabit prison
since the 31st July, having allegedly attempted to set fire to German army
vehicles. The same day, Andrej H. was arrested. The activist and sociologist
was released on bail on 22nd August. If the Federal Court decides that the §
129a legislation cannot be applied in Andrej H.?s case, this will have
significant ramifications for the situation of the other three who are still in
custody. “If the Senate concludes that § 129a is not applicable, then the
premise for keeping the three men in custody, constructed on the basis of this
legisaltion, would no longer be justified. The estimated danger they may
abscond could thus be met with the usual conditions of compulsory reporting or
bail”, said Schrage, who is acting on behalf of Axel H.

A decision by the Federal Court is not expected before October 18th. “It will
have huge implications, also for other 129a proceedings”, Schrage contintued.

As soon as the Federal Court makes a decision the Coalition for the Immediate
End to the 129a Proceedings will invite you to an immediate press conference.

Coalition for the Immediate End to the 129a Proceedings

c/o Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte e.V.

Greifswalder Straße 4

D-10405 Berlin

einstellung [at] so36.net


Notes to the Editors:

1. On July 31st 2007 Florian L, Axel H., Oliver R. and Andrej H. were arrested
and charged with membership in a terrorist organisation, “militante gruppe”
[militant group, or “mg”]. The connection between the persons accused of the
alleged arson attack on German Army vehicles and the sociologist Dr. Andrej H.,
as well as two further academics whose homes and workplaces were searched
without this resulting in their arrest is based upon the accusation that the
academics were researching similar issues, such as “gentrification” and
“precarity”, as the ones mentioned in statements supposedly published by the
mg. This is provided as a reason for the accusation that the academics are the
intellectual heads of the mg. Furthermore, Dr. Andrej H. allegedly met up with
one of the men accused of the arson attack, although the state prosecution
cannot provide any information about what may have been discussed in this
meeting. For further information in English, see:

2. These legal constructs are heavily contested as ?adventurous and to be
rejected by broad sections of German society and social movements. On an
international level, academics have voiced their protest in letters to the
state prosecution. In connection with the raids on 9th May 2007, whereby the
homes of 18 alleged anti-G8 campaigners were searched, a coalition has formed
to demand the abolition of the German anti-terrorist legislation paragraphs
129, 129a and 129b. They argue that this legislation is being used as part of a
wider attack on civil liberties in order to closely observe and intimidate
social movements in Germany. For further information in English and other
languages, see also http://www.gipfelsoli.org/Multilanguage.

3. The legislation §§ 129, 129a and 129b refer to a set of laws in which those
charged are alleged to be members of a “criminal association”. 129a refers
specifically to membership in an alleged terrorist group with political
motivations. 129b refers groups outside of Germany. Critics argue that this
legislation is so vague, it actually exists merely to create a basis for
extensive surveillance and information gathering on different sections of
society when deemed necessary by the authorities.

Source: Pressrelease