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An open letter to Tarom

July 2001

To the general manager of Tarom

Dear Sir,

The antiracist network "noone is illegal" is involved in manifold, partly international campaigns against the deportation of refugees. In this context, in June of this year, first actions were initiated, in which your air company, Tarom, was criticised for its participation in the German deportation policies, particularly by offering regular charter flights. We had then heard from German authorities and journalists that Tarom stopped for the least the charter deportations (from Düsseldorf via Bucharest to Istanbul/ Beirut) from 26 June '01 onwards. For a start, we explicitly welcome this decision. According to two journalists, you have also declared that Tarom will only transport so-called deportees on regular flights, if these consent to the trip and if they are of Romanian nationality. On this background we had initially interrupted our campaign against your company. As we have had to come to know, in the meantime, however, your declaration does not correspond to the actual situation. In the case of the stateless Carol Romanov it has been known that he was deported to Bucharest with a Tarom aeroplane on August 8th against his declared will. Over there, he has spent more than 30 days in the transit area of Otopeni airport. Mr. Romanov refuses to enter Romania and demands his return to Germany. Accordingly, we urge you to fly Mr. Romanov back to Germany!

We know that hundreds of other stateless persons as well as Rom of Romanian origin are intended to be deported to Romania by German authorities. Many of these, like Mr. Romanov, are not willing to travel to Romania. For the future development of our campaign it is therefore important that you take up a clear position regarding the following questions: 1. Will you stick to the decision not by all means to do any charter deportations. 2. Have you - as announced - given clear instructions to the Tarom pilots and crews that passengers declared as 'deportees' - regardless of their nationality or its absence - must in each case be asked whether they are willing to travel? This procedure automatically includes that so-called deportees will not be transported if they are accompanied by German, the Bundesgrenzschutz (BGS, border police) or police, if they are tied or brought to the plane in handcuffs, or if they have perceivably been treated with psychopharmacological drugs. We want to point to the fact that, in the case of the second question, the willingness to travel has to be assured by explicit instructions to the pilots , otherwise the decision whether one person will be transported or not is completely up to the pilot's personal judgement and decision. Whereas the German Pilot organisation 'Cockpit' advises its members to use exactly this method to find out about the passenger's willingness to travel, the executive committee of Lufthansa refuses to this day to take this step. On this background, as you surely know, an extensive campaign has been running for over a year now against the "deportation class" of the largest German airline www.deportation-alliance.com We hope that you will be quick to answer with precision to the two questions named above. We will accurately observe your company's behaviour in the cases of the planned deportations of stateless and Rom! We urge you to live up to your announcements and stick to them. "Willing to travel" must be the unequivocal, minimal precondition for the transportation of every individual in your airplanes.

Yours sincerely, no one is illegal-network

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