08.Jan.03 - France: Another violent death in the deportation.class at Charles de Gaulle airport
On the 30th of December 52 year old, Ricardo Barrientos died on flight AF 416 while he was being deported from France. The Argentinean, who was resisting his deportation, died when French border police officers who where accompanying him forced his chest on his knees while the plane was taxiing for take-off. He had been brought on board before the regular passengers and was placed in the rearmost section of the craft in an attempt to isolate him from the other passengers. The French border police claim his death is due to a cardiac arrest and considers it a 'natural death'.
Spokespeople of the national police have assured that the deportation which involved two officers forcing the deportees' upper body on his legs and his head between his knees while restraining his arms was carried out in accordance with 'normal procedures'. They further claimed that the accompanying officers alarmed medical emergency personnel when they discovered that Mr. Barrientos had fainted and that his death was attested by medical emergency personnel outside of the airplane.
This version is disputed by witness reports that have been received by the 'Association nationale d'assistance aux frontières pour les étrangers' (national association for assistance to foreigners at the borders). According to them the police officers carried the lifeless body of Mr. Barrientos to the front section of the plane where an doctor who had been alarmed by the cabin crew attested his death. Meanwhile the autopsy of the corpse has been ordered by a local court to investigate the cause of his death. Refugee support organizations contest the claim of a 'natural death', they rather see it as a consequence of the unnatural position into which the deportee was forced by the border police officers that were trying to break his resistance.
In an unrelated incident, that also took place at Charles de Gaulle airport on the same day, officers of the border police confiscated and erased a video tape of a television news crew from the west African state of Mali who had been filming the violent deportation of two persons on an Air France flight to Bamako.
According to AFP, the officers were roughly holding down the immigrants when they realized they were being recorded by a camera crew from Malian national television that happened to be accompanying Malian textile specialists on board. The two African journalists were quickly detained and their camera tape confiscated. A French student who allegedly insulted the officers was also arrested.
In a statement similar to the one issued in the case of the death of Mr Barrientos, a border police spokesperson claimed that the deportees were 'controlled normally according to techniques taught to police officers' and added that the tape had been confiscated and erased only because 'the officers were filmed without their permission'.
This description is disputed by members of the TV-crew: The reporter told the French news agency AFP that he had witnessed that "a handcuffed Malian was being beaten up and yelling. I told my cameraman to film the scene. Four French police officers got violent with us and made us leave the plane before confiscating the film of the scene." (report this is based on coverage in le monde and liberation and from AFP)
20.Dec.02 - Deportation.class activists stop two more deportations in munich
Two deportations sheduled for today were stopped by actions in the plane and by pressure on the deportation airlines. In the early morning a togolese refugee should have been deported with KLM, Flight number 1790 via Amsterdam to Lomé. The day before, letters had sent by telefax to KLM in Amsterdam and the Munich airport, announcing, that the refugee would be deported against his will and that he would probably scream and call for help and that trouble was expected. Moreover a ticket was bought, so that at least one passenger was ready to help the refugee on board of the plane. In the morning ten activists spread leaflets in the airport and called the passengers to help the deportee by not sitting down and announcing, that they would not switch off their mobile phones.
The action was successful. The deportee was not brought on board of the plane. But the activists were arrested for some hours and the 'passenger' was dragged out of the plane by the federal border police.
Some hours later there was a call for help from the reletives of an iranian refugee, who should be deported the same day at 4.35 p.m. with Turkish Airlines. After some intensive phone calls with Turkish Airlines the Airline refused to check-in the person in question.
13.Dec.02 - KLM: deportation stopped by telefax
In April 2002 KLM royal dutch airways had issued a press release. In this press release KLM claimed, that they do not transport people, who show, that they do not want to be transported. We did not know, if this statement was right or only a statement for the public.
Two weeks ago it was possible to find out, that it seems to be true: A togolese man was arrested and should be deported the next morning from Munich via Amsterdam to Lome with KLM. The Munich caravane group sent a telefax to the KLM security officer and told, that this man is not willing to travel and that he will probably scream and disturb the other passengers. There was also a phonecall to the security officer.
The next morning the KLM-staff refused the check-in of this deportee and also of another togolese deportee, who should be deported on the same plane.
Both are in prison in the moment but for one of them there is hope to stay in Germany for medical reasons.
15.Dec.01 - Protest against deportations at Brusseles Airport
Today 'Pilots and Crewmembers against deportations', together with activists from three different countries, have protested against the deportation business of the European Airlines. Armed with banners about 50 activists marched trough the departure area attending bystanders about the practice of deportations on board of regular flights. Among the protestres was a Flight Crew dressed in Lufthansa Uniforms. The activists paid tribute to Amir Ageeb, Kola Bankole, Marcus Omofuma, Samira Adamu and others who have been killed during attempts to deport them.
18.Oct.01 - Police Raid against Online Demonstrators
In the morning hours of October 17th, police officers broke into the office of the initiative 'Libertad!' and confiscated all computers as well as several harddiscs, cdroms and documents. The background of this is the online demonstration on June 20th this year, to which 'Libertad!' had mobilised, to protest against the deportation of refugees by the airline 'Deutsche Lufthansa AG'. In addition, the homes of those responsible for the websites of the group 'Libertad!' and sooderso.de , were searched.[read more]
18.Jul.01 - Report from the lufthansa sharholders meeting
Wednesday, June 20th 2001. At about 10:15 a.m., Klaus Schlede, the spokesman of the board of directors, opens this year's general meeting of Lufthansa in the 'Köln Arena' speaking in as penetrating a pitch of voice as usual, in front of a few thousand shareholders. He wants to appear superior, but he knows what the leader of the meeting will have to face: the protest of opponents of deportation, of critical shareholders, of activists of the "noone is illegal" network and the "Deportation.Class" campaign, who will lodge their ceterum censeo whenever appropriate, as they have done now at every meeting for the last few years: no deportation on lufthansa scheduled flights. [continue...]
09.May.01 - Date of online demonstration against Lufthansa announced
Activists from 'kein mensch ist illegal' and libertad! have announced today the date of their planned online demonstration against the german Airline 'Deutsche Lufthansa'. The online demonstration will take place during the airline's annual shareholders meeting on june 20th at 10.00 am GMT. Directed against Lufthansas involvement in the deportation business the aim of the demonstration is to bring Lufthansas online activities to a halt. More information on this action can be obtained at the website that has been set up to coordinate the demonstration.
13.Mar.01 - Online demonstration @ www.lufthansa.com
Online-Demonstration against Deportation Business The antiracist network No one is illegal and the solidarity organization Libertad! call for a virtual blockade against the Lufthansa homepage.
The public criticism against the Deutsche Lufthansa company is growing stronger. Antiracist activists have continously protested at airports and travelling agencies and were even present at the yearly shareholders meeting, accusing the airline of "deportation business". No one is illegal and Libertad! are now announcing the extension of these protests to the world wide web. [read on]
16.Feb.01 - Pilots' association steps up against dportations
The managing board of the powerful German pilots' association "Vereinigung Cockpit" has decided to give new recommendations concerning deportations to their members. Up to now they gave the advice to the pilots to follow the deportation order to avoid difficulties with the employing airlines. Now the recommendations change: Cockpit recommends to ask the deportees in every case, if they agree to be transported. If not, the pilot should refuse the transport. [read more]