More than 100 people from Germany, Angola, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Guinea, Iran, Morocco and other countries are currently taking part in the memorial service in Dortmund for Mouhamed Lamine Dramé from Senegal, who died on August 8th from police bullets. The celebration is themed "Justice for Mouhamed!"
The Friends of Refugee Solidarity in SI is represented, workers and Courage women take part, MLPD and REBELL comrades. Among the cultural contributions is music by Levi Meka. He says he is here for Mouhamed, also because he has five children himself and wants to do everything to ensure that an act like this never happens again. Alassa Mfouapon, himself a refugee and spokesman for the Friends of Refugee Solidarity in SI, gives the memorial speech that he made available to Rote Fahne News for publication.
Dear friends! Dear family and friends of Mouhamed in Ndiafatte! With this event and its recording, we greet you over 4600 km away and express our great sympathy and solidarity. We are with you and we will not let you and Mouhamed down.
Dear friends, In many regions of my homeland, Africa, it is customary to commemorate someone's death 100 days after their death. I think that's a good practice. Shortly after death, shock, deep sorrow and preoccupation with all the necessities of the funeral reign. Now we have some distance, developed a lot of political activities and made plans for the future. But today we have come together to think of Mouhamed Lamine Dramé, to mourn him together, to get to know him better. We need staying power for Justice for Mohammed! (a moment of sadness)
Mouhamed hasn't even lived his life yet!
It will only come into being if we engage in its history and fate with all our thinking, feeling and acting. When we learn to see and feel him as our close friend, our brother, our son, our companion. That's why we're here today.
The saying comes from my native Africa: "Man is born to live and to die." This is a very sober and apt piece of wisdom to see and feel the life and passing of every human being as completely normal. Yet: Mouhamed hasn't even lived his life yet! It wasn't time for him to die yet! It was a brutal, life-threatening, violent death that brutally tore the apparently severely traumatized 16-year-old from life on August 8th. Eleven police officers shocked him with pepper spray and a stun gun and finally shot him with six rounds from a Heckler & Koch submachine gun. It is reported that he himself wanted to end his life. We don't know if that's true; And if so: What drove this youth, who is described as full of life, into such a deep depression?
Mouhamed's brother Sidy wrote to us
Mouhamed's brother, Sidy, with whom we are now friends, wrote to us about today's event: »Mouhamed was a lively, ambitious young man. He loved to travel, wanted to discover other countries and nations. He was determined to shape his life in such a way that he could help our family. Above all, he wanted to fulfill our mother's wish to take her to Mecca. And he wanted to give his father a nice house. Since life in the village is very difficult, he put his heart and soul into supporting our family. He was everyone's friend in the village, very cheerful and helpful. That's why everyone loved him.Mouhamed's goal was to help his brothers and sisters to be successful in life, especially in the activities we do.
As for his relations with the youth of the village, they were very good. I can even say that his death deeply affected the young people in the neighboring villages. Our mother here is still very affected, shaken and desperate because Mouhamed was very close to her. Mouhamed was our great hope. He always said: Don't worry, I'll go away and then you won't be poor anymore. He worked as a fisherman and tirelessly saved the money for a trip to Europe. Finally he packed his backpack and said goodbye. Today everyone wants justice for him. Because the police in Germany destroyed the hope of an entire family.«
We don't know what he experienced while fleeing
The portrayal of a fun-loving Mouhamed is not a myth, knitted together 100 days after his death. Sidy also shows videos of him, laughing, dancing – in a spirit of optimism. In such a spirit of optimism, he set out to bring happiness to his family and the village. We don't know what he experienced while fleeing. We don't even know exactly which route he took. But we do know that at least 1,400 migrants have drowned trying to escape in the Mediterranean this year alone. I am a living example because on this road I lost a child, a cousin and friends. May their souls rest in peace.
We know that the EU's paramilitary border protection force, Frontex, is still harassing refugees and endangering their lives. We know that the new fascist government in Italy is not the first to refuse refugees landing and to sue the crews of sea rescue ships. We know that in the first three quarters of this year alone there were 65 fascist attacks on refugee accommodation in Germany - in nine months almost as many as in the whole of the previous year.
Without knowing his exact experiences, we know what dangers, what misery, certainly also hunger, cold and above all fear he was exposed to. In contact with his brother, however, he said again and again: I'm fine, don't worry!
Born and raised in Senegal
Mohammed was born and raised in the village of Ndiaffate, Senegal, West Africa. Contrary to media claims, he has eight brothers and would be the fourth. Both parents are still alive.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development soberly tells us: »Energy shortages, food crises, strong population growth and high unemployment are hampering the country's development. The Senegalese government is facing major domestic and socio-political challenges: it is estimated that around 40 % of the population live in poverty. ... According to estimates, around 40 % of the labor force are unemployed or underemployed. Almost 10 % of the population are still considered undernourished... The illiteracy rate is just over 50 %. Medical care is completely inadequate, especially in rural areas. Maternal mortality in connection with childbirth is high, as is the mortality of children under five.« (www.bmz.de)
Irrespective of these facts, the organization Migration Control reports: »Senegal is considered a safe country of origin in Germany, France and Luxembourg. This means that asylum applications from Senegalese are considered to be manifestly unfounded. All applications were rejected.« (migration-control.info)
Did Mouhamed perhaps dawn on this realization and plunge him into depression? We do not know it.
The journalist Tim Röhn traveled to Mouhamed's village
The journalist Tim Röhn is - as far as we know - the only one who bothered to travel to Mouhamed's village. He reports: »His parents, they are alive. And he has nine siblings, three brothers, six sisters. In the village, which is a four-hour drive from the capital Dakar and can only be reached on the last section via muddy tracks riddled with knee-deep holes in the ground, the young people meet on the main square under the huge acacia tree. Next to it, the children play barefoot soccer. They only found out over the Internet a few days after the shooting that Mohammed was no longer alive. One day one of the men saw a photo of Mohamed in the facebook post of a Senegalese online newspaper. In addition, the information that the boy died. In Germany. A friend of Mohammed ran to the parents' hut, called for Lamine, the father, and brought him the news. Many in the village dialed Mohammed's number, but his cell phone was dead. ... The mayoress flew to Germany, picked up the body and brought it to Lamine Dramé and his wife Ma Fofana, Mohammed's mother. There was a protest march demanding clarification. Then the boy was buried. The father collapsed and was dragged back to his hut.« (Report in DIE WELT)
Biggest wish of the family: That family members can be present at the trial against the Dortmund police
Sidy told me that the family's greatest wish is that father and brother can be present at the trial against the Dortmund police and visit the scene of Mouhamed's shooting. We want to join forces to make this a reality. Even more, we wish that the mother or a sister could come too. Until then it will be a long way to fight for passports, visas and airfare.
Dear friends, we are committed to fighting for justice for Mouhamed together with many others. Mouhamed's spirit of optimism, his dream of a happy, just life for everyone should serve as a role model and an incentive for us. There are many people interested in Mouhamed; they ask questions, petitions are organized, calls for donations are made.
Will this bring Mouhamed back? no It is our duty to fight hand in hand so that not only is justice done, but that that act may never happen again.
Justice For Mouhamed!