Thursday, 7 January 2016

A Littler Bit Of Good News.

               In a world that is falling apart, with wars, repression, brutal authoritarianism and executions, it is cheering to hear some good news.
            Long months have passed since the hot summer day at the beginning of July when our friend and comrade got arrested at a passport control at the Greek-Bulgarian border. The Europe-wide arrest warrant against her had been issued by the prosecution office of Aachen, Germany, on the 24th of June 2015. After having spent three weeks in Bulgarian cells she got handed over to the German cops at the airport of Sofia.
          In Germany she got locked up under the ‘U-haft‘ (Untersuchungshaft) regime in Cologne because of a presumed involvement in an armed bank robbery that had taken place two years earlier (2013). Under this regime prisoners awaiting trial are locked up, officially for a maximum of six months, which in reality very often is extended up to a period of over a year. In her case the restrictions put in place meant that at each visit (2 hours per month) there were two cops, a guard and a translator present, that she was not allowed to make any phone calls and that all post was first directed to the prosecutor’s office where it was read and then given to her after one month delay.
               Her detention was based on a single piece of evidence: a DNA trace found on two gas pistols discovered in a closet of the bank by an employee 11 days later. A few weeks ago, on the 2nd December, after months of investigation the prosecution formally charged her with bank robbery, hostage taking and weapon possession. These charges were brought in front of three judges, who had to decide whether to pursue them in court or not. On the 16th of December, the court called the prison instructing them to release our comrade because all charges were to be dropped, since the “evidence” that five months of investigation produced was not sufficient for this case to be brought to court.
                 Now, our comrade is back with us. However, the joy that this brings us does not replace, nor lets us forget our anger towards the isolating restrictions, towards the ridiculousness of the uniform circus, and towards any authoritarian system that plays with people’s lives in such a way. The biggest source of strength came from the uncompromising and uncooperative stand our comrade took: she always kept her head up and her defiant spirits alive.
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