"Death in Cell #5 "
1) 1:36 Radio essay Mp3
Call for observation of the Oury Jalloh Court Case
break the silence!
Come to Dessau on March 27th - 30th and April 19th-20th of 2007.
Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and
rallies during this time.
Break the silence!
On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh agonizingly burned to
death---tied at his hands and feet in Cell Number 5 in Dessau. He was
a 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone. The smoke and fire alarm were
simply ignored by the supervising police officer; the communication
system connected directly to the cell was turned off, supposedly
because the police officers felt bothered by the "burbling noises"
while they were talking on the telephone. Since his death to this day,
the State Prosecutor, responsible for carrying out the investigations,
has exclusively promoted the theory that Oury Jalloh committed
Nevertheless, there are simply too many contradictions in their
theory: Why does a lighter first appear in a second inventory taken of
the items found in the cell? How did a lighter enter into the cell
when two police officers carried out a body search of Oury Jalloh? How
do they explain the broken nasal bone and the injuries to the middle
ear as found in the second autopsy organized by the Initiative in
Memory of Oury Jalloh? What role did the racist attitude of Dessau's
police play, which was recorded on tape before and during the fire and
made partially public?
On the basis of the ascertainable facts regarding the death of Oury
Jalloh and until it is proved otherwise we will continue to believe
and make our opinion known: Oury Jalloh was murdered.
That all of these contradictions have even been made known to a wider
public has only been possible thanks to the mobilization and
engagement of friends and acquaintances of Oury Jalloh as well as
diverse migrant, refugee and anti-racist organizations, who in spite
of the attempts at criminalization and the persecution of several
activists have never given up in fighting for an exhaustive
clarification of the circumstances surrounding the death of Oury
Jalloh as well as justice and reparations. All of these groups have
come together to form the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.
Finally, after two years of mobilization and public campaigning of the
Initiative, court proceedings are to be held in March against two of
the police involved in the crime. Although we find this to be an
important step in the direction of shedding light on the death of Oury
Jalloh, we have serious doubt as to whether the proceedings will bring
either justice or an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances.
Since Oury's murder, neither the court nor the State Prosecutor has
shown interest in discovering the truth behind the events in Dessau.
Rather, the case has been plagued by two years of impediments,
cover-up and the denial to cooperate with the lawyers of Oury's
parents. Only for the recognition of the mother and father as
co-plaintiffs in the case did the court need 17 and 15 months to come
to a decision, respectively. In addition, the State Prosecutor refused
to allow an x-ray of Oury Jalloh's corpse to be carried out with the
justification that it simply wasn't necessary. The second autopsy,
carried out independently in the name of the Initiative in Memory of
Oury Jalloh, demonstrated then demonstrated the serious injuries to
Oury's nose and middle ear.
But Oury Jalloh was not alone. Dominique Koumadio, for example, was
shot and killed by the police on the 14th of April, 2006. The General
Public Prosecutor has already absolved the police of any crime. The
justification? Self-defense. Indeed, crimes by the police enjoy almost
complete impunity, especially when those crimes are committed against
refugees and migrants. Indeed, German police abuse refugees and
migrants on a daily basis, and physical mistreatment is widespread,
though punishment is seldom?if it even comes that far. In general, it
is fair to say that the police, just as society, is dominated by a
racist, inhumane consensus that sees refugees and migrants in general
In general, Europe has made it known and enforced the fact that
refugees and migrants, but especially Blacks, are not welcome here.
Alone in 2006 more than 7,000 HUMAN BEINGS were forced into their
death by a system which has systematically and eternally robbed them
of their most basic right: the right to life. Who will pay the price
for these murders? Who can give their families and friends back their
These are just some of the reasons why we totally distrust the German
It is our responsibility to Oury, his family and all victims and
survivors of racist police violence and even murder to come together
and demonstrate to the court, to the society and to the world that we
will not stand silently by while they continue their crimes in
impunity. If we do not come together to stop this now, how many will
follow? Who will be next?
A wide public and political mobilization to accompany the trial and
assist the proceedings as independent observers is of extreme
importance. We therefore call on all progressive sectors and people of
solidarity to join us in Dessau for the entire length of the court
proceedings. Vigils, events and rallies will be organized during the
whole duration of the events.
Come to Dessau on March 27th-30th and April 19th-20th. Observe the
trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies
during this time.
The Court address:
Landgericht Dessau, Willy-Lohmann-
Stay informed at: http://oury-
Info-phone at: 0049-(0)176-