Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001
How to become an international terrorist?

14th of April 1997, a joyful company of Russians is travelling from Berlin to Prague with train. In border, one of the Russians is singled out since validity period of his visa ended day before. After thorough check he is let through border the next morning, no any sanctions, no fines.

19.30 in 16th of June, 2001, Järntorget of Gothenburg in Sweden. Riot police surrounds peaceful demonstration against police brutality, and singles out people to be arrested, places them to buses. From group of Russians arrested, Artem Chlenov is separated and not freed with the others.

Two small, seemingly completely separate events may have more in common with each other than the main actor.

SIS at work

Schengen Information System, active since 1995, is a common register of police of EU countries. It stores information about criminals, victims of crimes and possible victims of future crimes - definition which propably fits any person whatsoever. SIS stores name, nicknames, description of person and judgement if registered person might be violent or not. SIRENE, appendix of SIS stores information about persons sexual behaviour, habits, friends, political opinions and organisations to which she or he belongs.

Every friend and acquaintance of Artem Chlenov knows that he is the most peaceful person one can meet. The crime he committed, and why he was put to a special isolation with special procedure "for the sake of national security", is obviously not that he threw a police with a rock 15th of june as claimed. Plenty of people who stood with him far from the police line are ready to testify for him. His real crime is that 1997 he was travelling with a collection of souvenirs from Berlin squats, including provocative Radikal-paper, not a long time before banned by German authorities. A paper from which he is not able to understand a word, since Russian is the only language he speaks.

Enough proof for being a potential terrorist and to be recorded to SIS and SIRENE anyway. A record which Swedish police picked up more than four years later, and made their conclusions.

Obviously, German and other international terrorists armed to teeth will be official reality of any coming up international demonstration to be organised in Sweden. As predictable as that these terrorists will always be able to narrowly slip away from Swedish officials in the last moment, just like spying submarines during the days of the cold war. But since someone has to be imprisoned anyway, you better not travel in EU with wrong magazines, wrong company, wrong ideas or wrong outlook. All these are enough reason to record you to SIS and SIRENE, to be the next international terrorist to be locked up.

Antti Rautiainen
webpage of campaign to free Artem Chlenov:

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