“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.“ (Assata Shakur)
Internationalist María was forced to leave Germany due to her political activism in solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement. In addition, she was banned from entering and leaving the country for 20 years.
We are sad and angry that María had to leave the country. But especially now it is important that we create publicity for this case and together make sure that we organize our grief and our anger. Because an attack on one is an attack on all of us. We will not allow the German state to try to silence politically active women and other oppressed genders by any means. María we stand by your side – Jin Jiyan Azadî!
Here we would like to publish the solidarity statement of Grupo Internacional, the support group of friends and comrades in solidarity with María and the Kurdish freedom movement:
Declaration of solidarity with the internationalist María who was forced to leave Germany and is now facing a residence ban
In October 2021, three civil officers of the Halle police station in the State of Saxony-Anhalt handed a document of the Magdeburg immigration office over to our Spanish comrade and friend María. In this letter, she was asked to leave the country within 30 days. It states, she would have forfeited her right to free movement as an EU citizen. In addition, a prohibition of entry or stay for a period of 20 years has been issued against her. This measure was justified by the claim, that María represents a threat to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
Furthermore, she is accused of staying in Germany for too long without any obvious purpose: There would be no evidence that she has a job subject to compulsory insurance, that she is staying in Germany due to family ties or that she has a permanent place of residence. Also, it wouldn’t be clear how she finances her daily life.
What is she accused of?
María is accused of using her presence in Germany exclusively to take part in political activities connected to the Kurdish freedom movement and to organize activities in this regard. In this context, the state claims she would be a link between the radical left and the PKK (Partiya Karkarên Kurdistan / Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
Since 2014, she would have repeatedly participated in rallies, demonstrations and the like all over Germany, for example in the Hambach Forst, in Leipzig, in Berlin or in Magdeburg. Furthermore, she is reproached for her academic skills in IT and her knowledge of the Kurdish language. These skills are seen as an ability to build a network and thus serve as a link between the radical left in Germany and the Kurdish freedom movement.
Due to her clear political stance, which she adopts in her daily life and thereby clearly opposes exploitation, oppression and war, she is accused of having an ideological determination which would make any abandonment of her activities in support of the Kurdish freedom movement improbable.
According to the Magdeburg Immigration Office, these aspects justify declaring María a threat to the security of Germany and issuing an entry and residence ban for a period of 20 years. This incredibly long duration of a measure is usually pronounced in the case of war crimes, crimes against humanity or terrorism.
A new level of criminalization of the Kurdish movement and its solidarity movement
Security policy developments in Germany show that attempts are being made to prevent emancipatory and revolutionary movements by all means and to attack, criminalize and ban them as soon as they emerge. Examples for these repressive developments are the tightening of the German police laws, the numerous §129 a & b procedures¹, the expansion of racist controls and of the surveillance system, the criminalization of leftist, feminist and migrant activism. The case of María sets a precedent in Germany that has not existed in this form before. For the first time, the FRG has issued an exit order and a residence ban against an EU citizen on the grounds of political activism associated to the Kurdish freedom movement. By doing so, the German state tries to find a way to criminalize politically active persons without a German passport and to deport them whenever it suits best.
Due to the prohibition of the PKK, all Kurds living in Germany are put under general suspicion of “terrorism”. We can also notice this general suspicion in the attempts to criminalize the German initiative “Verbot aufheben” (lift the ban),which advocates the decriminalization of the PKK and the lifting of the PKK ban. The entry and residence ban issued against our internationalist comrade represents a further attack on the solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement.
An attempt to set a precedent
The FRG shows once again what it means by democracy. Using the pretext of risk prevention and security, her “basic civil rights” are abolished and María is indirectly declared to be a threat to the FRG. By political arbitrariness her public, legitimate and especially feminist activities are being criminalized and prosecuted, such as participation in the rally of the international campaign of the Kurdish women’s movement “100 reasons to prosecute the dictator” addressing murder and kidnapping of women and girls, or rallies on the International Women’s Day (March 8th) as well as the participation in demonstrations and events against the German war policy and in support of the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.
By attacking María the state criminalizes political women and the solidarity with the Kurdish women’s movement. Currently, women seem to become more and more a trouble to the German state. The case of Lina² shows shows increased efforts to criminalize political active women. Lina has been in custody for over a year. Now, a sexist show trial is being carried out against her. Another example is the case of Ella, who was imprisoned for her fight against climate change.
The attempt to set a precedent not only poses a danger for internationalists who show solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement, but could also potentially be applied to other politically active EU citizens in Germany whose residence status is uncertain and who may be criminalized because of their political stance.
It is common practice in the FRG to attack and set aside fundamental rights, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of expression or movement and residence rights. That’s why it is important to protest against these practices and to fight against this deprivation of rights!
Solidarity on all levels!
There is judicial resistance to this attack but a broad public and solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement is also necessary and fundamental. This is not an individual case. It’s part of the common criminalization of solidarity with Kurdistan. And it is also part of the common attacks of the German state on revolutionary ideas. (Examples of these attacks are the convictions in Nuremberg, the convictions in the context of the trials around Jamnitzer Platz, the trial against Dy and Jo, the Antifa-Ost trial, the trials against activists in the Hambach Forest and the §129b trial against active Kurdish and Turkish activists.)
Right now it is important to stand together, shoulder to shoulder and to show that an attack on one is an attack on us all. It can happen at any time to anyone who is committed to the fight for a free life. Therefore, this attack should be the spark that sets the fire in our hearts free. Let’s use our anger to organize and fight for a world without exploitation and oppression. Our passion for the struggle for liberation is stronger than the repression of the system.
Solidarity with María and all those affected by repression!
“Grupo Internacional” – support group of friends and comrades in solidarity with María and the Kurdish freedom movement
Contact: [email protected]
¹ Under Sections 129a and 129b of the German Penal Code, anyone accused of participating in the “formation of and support for a terrorist organization abroad” loses essential fundamental rights. This pretext can be used to justify almost any surveillance and spying measures. Since the introduction of Section 129b, armed struggles against oppression in other states that are allied with the FRG can also be criminalized in Germany itself.
² Lina is one out of four people accused of participating in a “criminal organization” under Section 129 of the German Penal Code and of participating in various attacks on neo-Nazis. For current information and background information on the trial, visit: https://www.soli-antifa-ost.org/
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Keyword: Internationale Solidarität