Rathenow: Appell von 116 AsylbewerberInnen
Neues Memorandum aus Rathenow
116 Asylbewerber appellieren diesmal an die Bundesregierung
Wie am Wochenende bekanntwurde, appellieren 116 Asylbewerber
aus Rathenow (Kreis Havelland/ Brandenburg) in einem offenen
Brief an den Bundeskanzler, den Bundestag und andere
Bundesinstitutionen, die sozialen Bedingungen für Asylbewerber in
Deutschland zu verbessern. Nur so könne der Rassismus auf
lokaler Ebene abgebaut werden.
Solange Asylbewerber weder Ausbildung noch Sprachunterricht
bekommen können, solange sie ihren Heimatlandkreis nicht
verlassen dürfen, in abgelegenen Wohnheimen untergebracht
sind und beim Einkaufen mit Gutscheinen unangenehm auffallen,
sei es kein Wunder, wenn viele sie als "Bürger zweiter Klasse"
betrachteten, heißt es in dem Schreiben.
Asylbewerber aus Rathenow hatten bereits im Februar wegen
häufiger rassistischer Überfälle in einem offenen Brief ihre Verlegung
in ein anderes Bundesland gefordert. Trotz verstärkter Polizeipräsenz
und trotz zahlreicher öffentlicher Diskussionen in der Region ging die
Zahl der rassistischer Delikte seither nicht zurück, so die örtliche
Die Flüchtlinge selbst haben nur wenige Möglichkeiten ihrem Appell
die notwendige Aufmerksamkeit zu verschaffen. Bisher wurde er in den
Medien fast gar nicht erwähnt. Leitet den offenen Brief daher bitte an
Freunde, JournalistInnen u.a. Interssierte weiter und sorgt so dafür,
das er eine entsprechende Oeffenlichkeit erhaellt ...
AN APPEAL FROM THE ASYLUM SEEKERS IN RATHENOW:
We the asylum seekers in Rathenow have the honour most respectful
to present our claims. We have thought it very wise that the silent
scribble of the pen is stronger than the thunderous sound of the gun. We
believe strongly in the power of argument and not the argument of power.
Our claims have reduced us to the level of second-class citizens and have
made some Germans to consider us as valueless to the extent of always
beating us mercilessly. From these racist attacks we incure serious body
injuries to the extent of death. We consider these attacks racist because
of the words that always come out from the mouth of the aggressors.
Exemple: "Foreigner, what do you want here, we hate you becouse you are a
foreigner, we are fighting for our land, you should go back to your land
and fight all the foreigners there."
Respectful Ladies and Gentlmen, before we proceed, we wish to use
this golden opportunity to make clear a point. Many people have always
considered the asylum seekers as outcasts of soceity, as people who have
nothing to contribute to the growth of the soceity, as people who left
their various countries because of poverty, as people without any sense of
direction, as criminals and not as human-beings who left their various
homes because their lives were at stake.
Honorable Ladies and Gentlmen, we are appealing to you to consider
the asylum seekers as human-beings like yourselves without any barrier in
any domain -colour-, nationality or continent. It is a disgrace for us to
be writing in english after living in Germany for a long time. WHY? Because
we do not have the possibility as asylum seekers to study in Germany. In
order to enrich the soceity, knowledge should be distributed. When one has
knowledge and distribute it, he or she enriches the soceity without losing
a grain of his or her knowledge. When there is a lighted candle in a room,
and people come with candles and light their candles from this one candle,
the flame of the single candle does not reduce but on the contrary the room
becomes bright. Examples are the present U.S.A. secretary of state who went
to America as an asylum seeker and Mr.Schultze who left Germany and went to
America as an asylum seeker. He ended up as a senator in America. WHY? They
met a selfless soceity in the distribution of knowledge. This is just to
name a few. From these two examples, you will agree with us that some of us
are like the biblical stone. We have something in us that others do not
have. The slaves from MENDI, Sierra-Leone, could express themselves and
demistify the mystery that surrounded the Spanish ship, THE AMISTAD, in
1839, because they were offered the opportunity to learn.
Before we proceed,we will use this opportunity to express our
profound gratitude to some officials and organisations in the state of
Brandenburg for the role they have played to arrest the racist assaults on
us which have not receded but have instead increased:
- The Mayor of Rathenow
- The offlcials of ausländerbeauftrag Haveland and the state of
- The Police
- The churches
- The Media
- Fluchtlingsrates Brandenburg
- Freies Gymnasium Nauen zu den luchbergen
- The county commissioner in Haveland
- The Minister of Education,Youth and Sports
- The Minister of Economics
- The Minister President in the state of Brandenburg.
Honourable Ladies and Gentlmen, although some of these officials
have set the foundation to solve the problems of racism we are facing, the
physical and psychological torture we undergo, they also appealed to us
that they have limited powers to handle our social demands as asylum
seekers. That is why as asylum seekers, we find it appropriate to
personally present our claims to you. These claims have contributed for the
racist attacks we undergo.
Some of our collegues took a trip to some of the asylum camps in
the state of Brandenburg to share with the other asylum seekers our
miseries. The report is drab, hollow, blick and degrading. From their
report, we discovered that asylum seekers are imprisoned for their
"Political and religious ideas" back at their various countries. In fact,
an undefined prison sentence.
Honourable Ladies and Gentlmen, if you have two friends, one is
always sharing your point of view and the other can at times criticise you,
PLEASE, "the praise singer friend" is not a good friend. We are appealing
to [use] your High offices to improve the social conditions of the asylum
seekers in your country. If it is a law, we hold strongly that this law is
outdated to suit the taste of time. We are in a new Millenium. Let us avoid
a situation where posterity will judge somebody negatively or point a
finger at somebody for his or her inhuman treatment towards his fellow
human-being. Who ever knew, the almighty Papon Maurice who had all the
powers to arrest and deport about 1500 Jews in camps of Nazis
exterminationwill one day have a rusty, sordid and dradful future. Plato,
the philosopher, once said: "The foreigner, isolated from his fellow
country men and his family, should be the subject of greater love on the
part of men and of gods. So all precautions must be taken in order that no
wrong be commited against foreigner".
Honourable Ladies and Gentlmen, in our various countries, we fought
against bad governance to the risk of our lives.
Had it been we were in some European countries or Arnerica, some of
our names will be handed down to posterity as those who practised those
sublime of all virtues-disinterested patriotism and unshrinking courage to
stand firm against dictatorship. On the contrary, we were hunted away
because of our ideas.
Ladies and Gentlmen, we do not know how you are going to receive
our appeal but we know we are playing our rational role. William Shakespear
once said, "The world is a stage where every body has a role to play".
1 - NO FREEDOM OF EDUCATION:
Respectful Ladies and Gentlmen,we strongly believe that there are
no barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. We are shocked to see that
because somebody is an asylum seeker he cannot go beyond a certain level of
elementary education, he cannot further his education, he cannot learn any
profession.How can people live in asylum prisons for one to ten years
without educational facilities. Such an indiscriminate creation of
exclusive privileges tends rather to destroy a particular class of people
than to construct. For the fact that we are unable to express our selves to
the Germans, some of them consider us as pest to the soceity and their
response is to attack us mercilessly. Some Germans think we are fools.
2 - NO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT:
We are puzzled than angry to the fact that we have defined
territorial juridition that we cannot go beyond without permission.
At times a ministerial order can rule this federal law. Example was
on the 20.04.2000 that some of our collegues were supposed to go to an
International Congress of Refugees in Jena. The almighty Minister of
internal affairs in the state of Brandenburg circulated a ministerial order
not to give any body permission to go to Jena.
Are we living in a military regime? Are we living in a dictatorial
regime as back in our various homes? Are we living in a state of emergency?
ls that his definition of democracy? - NO freedom of association, NO
freedom of movement? Why should we always live on the margin? Our cry
although is like a teaspoon of water thrown into the sea. We know we are
not living, we are barely surviving. lf you can put the nail on our
coffins, we shall no more live to see or to hear dictatorship.
That apart, the question now is, why should we at any moment need
permission to travel within Germany? Did we seek asylum in Germany or in
Haveland? We are bom free but every second we are in chains.
If the Police arrest anybody out of his territorial juridiction, he
or she is expected to pay the sum of 125.-DM. How can you tax somebody who
is not working to pay 125.-DM? How can you punish somebody who have the
right to 80.-DM cash per month to pay the sum of 125.-DM?
3 - NO FREEDOM OF WORK:
Another bomb in the road is we do not have the freedom to work. In
our identity card, it is clearly stated "Erwebtätigkeit nicht gestattet".
ln this case, you cannot be employed by any body or carry on any personal
activity that can raise money. What do you think will become of a
humanbeing that cannot go to school, that cannot move freely and that
cannot work? Always eating and sleeping in one room. Many of us have
developed nerves problems, gastric and psychological problems because of
this inhuman treatment. Worst of all we are hated by some Germans who
believe their taxes are used on us. That is why they attack us. Why do you
blame the man on the street who beats, what about the law and the law
makers? We strongly believe that racism stems from the law.
4 - NO FREEDOM OF COMMERCE:
One of the root causes of racism is the manner in which our
shopping system is organised. Exemple is in the state of Brandenburg. The
medium of exchange is with vouchers or Smart Cards. We do not have access
to money. ln a month, we are given the vouchers to the tune of 310.-DM and
money is just 80.-DM cash. Or one can do shopping with the Smart Card to
the tune of 310.-DM.
With these systems,we have defined shops, defined goods to buy. For
instance, there are Asians or Africans. We have special food stuff that are
found in special shops in towns and these shops do not accept the vouchers.
Secondly, in the shops that we are allowed to buy, it is very easy for
somebody to identify us with vouchers. This create a lot of problems. We
cannot use these vouchers or Smart Cards out of our territorial
juridiction. We want our monthly payment in cash. Why? Because at the end
of each month, we have to [pay] our lawyers 50.-DM, we have to write our
family members back at our coutries, some asylum prisons are not in the
same town with the social welfare office. To go there, we have to pay
transport too and fro, we have to pay penalties from Police control. With
80.-DM, it is impossible to meet up these demands.
We always create long lines with our vouchers in shopping centers.
This has always made people to be annoyed with us: As if that is not
enough, we are forced to buy to the tune of 90% with our vouchers. lt is
clearly stated on the vouchers that one cannot recieve a balance of more
than 10%. Where is the freedom of commerce?
Finally, the vouchers have expiring dates. We are forced to use
these vouchers within a specific time of not more than one month. The dates
are usually stated on the vouchers.
5 - OUR ASYLUM PRISONS ARE MOSTLY IN FOREST:
As it has been seen, most of our asylum prisons are found in
forest. Many people always asked why is it that most of the asylum seekers
live mostly at the outskirts of the town? To those who cannot ask, they
have built it in their minds that we are good for the forest with the
animals. When they see us in town, it is an embarrassement. They point
fingers at us, they look at us with racist eyes and they attack us with
their normal slogan "foreigner what are you doing here"? In some of our
camps,we find it difficult to reach the towns. We are strange to some
Germans because they cannot understand us.
In our prisons, we have spaces smaller as six quadrametre. So many
people share one room. The German shepherd dogs are respected more than
asylum seekers. The dog is entitled to a space above eight quadrametre but
asylum seekers about six quadrametre and even that they do not have it. All
these aspects have made some Germans to consider us as outcasts of the
soceity. Are we not human-beings?
Respectful Ladies and Gentlmen,our problems are many. We cannot
write all down.
If really asylum seekers wants to describe their situation, we
always use the picture of two men standing in front of us. One is holding
the Holy Bible and a knife at his back. He gives the Bible to the other
man, as he takes it, turns to go, the other man stabs him from the back
with the knife.
Respectful Ladies and Gentlmen, we are appealing to you to use your
high offices and reverse this situation. While thanking you for reading, we
hope you will answer to our cry for a better life.
Your sincerely asylum seekers, RATHENOW:
26. April 2000.
- The Chancellor of Germany
- The President of Germany
- The Parliament of Germany
- The Supreme Court of Germany
- The Media
- The Human Right Organisations
- The United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees
- The Churches.
[ es folgen 116 Unterschriften ]