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Press release on the Alassa Mfouapon trial against the state of Baden Württemberg. "Refugees proudly march before the Federal Administrative Court: partial success for refugee rights - legal development of the Federal Administrative Court"

Today the Federal Administrative Court heard the appeal of Alassa Mfouapon against the state of Baden-Württemberg and of Ba Gando because of the house rules of the state initial reception center in Freiburg. The verdict is double-edged: "It is a success that the Federal Administrative Court had to recognize: refugee accommodation is protected living space within the meaning of Article 13 of the Basic Law!", says the lawyer Roland Meister. Alassa Mfouapon explains: "This is the result of a broad protest movement supported by many organizations and initiatives by the refugees themselves. Without these complaints this would not have happened at all!"
Nevertheless, the court dismissed both lawsuits and ruled in line with the legal developments in refugee policy that can currently be observed everywhere.

But from the beginning: The day began with a militant rally in front of the imposing building of the court in Leipzig. A good 50 people expressed their solidarity: There were organizations such as the Friends of Refugee Solidarity, the Society for Freedom Rights, Solidarity International and "Action to Stay Right" in Freiburg. The youth organizations Rebell and Young Struggle, the MLPD, the women's organizations Zora and Courage, colleagues from Verdi and the IGM, law students and a number of young migrant and German refugee activists also came. The two groups of plaintiffs met for the first time – Alassa Mfouapon and his friends and a group of refugees from the state reception center in Freiburg. It was immediately fraternized and everyone voiced their concerns over the open microphone.

The presiding judge clearly stated that Alassa's room in the Ellwangen initial reception center is considered an apartment and enjoys the appropriate protection. Individual vexatious regulations in the house rules of the LEA Freiburg were marked as illegal. This contradicts the previous view and practice of the authorities and the police, who are allowed to enter the only place where refugees can retreat at any time.

An affront was that the presiding judge, Dr. Keller, Alassa Mfouapon harshly withdrew the word after only two sentences when he wanted to speak as the actual plaintiff on the case. He should neither speak about the specific events on June 20, nor become political. The lawyers had previously made statements of up to 20 minutes. The venerable court, which initially seemed so sovereign, was visibly nervous about what the spokesman for this refugee movement was going to say in the hallowed halls. It is important to know that the Freiburg group of plaintiffs had unfortunately decided that the refugees themselves would only sit in the auditorium. During the 2.5 hour hearing about basic refugee rights, the presiding judge did not give the refugees an opportunity to contribute to the discussion. It took several legal interventions and expressions of will from the audience to persuade the judge to finally give Alassa Mfouapon the floor, which gave Alassa the last word: “The behavior of the police on June 20 was illegal from the start . It was pre-planned: Alassa must be deported to Italy, no matter which fundamental rights are violated. Today, the emotions and the experiences of us refugees were not listened to. But I remain stubborn: we are refugees, not criminals, the police behaved illegally.” “This was a small success in enforcing the necessary legal hearing,” said his lawyer Roland Meister. Alassa's full speech can be read here.

The lawyers Meister, Lincoln and Deppner appeared competent, argumentatively strong and with a fighting spirit and made the meek but reactionary representatives of the city of Freiburg and the government director of the state of Baden-Württemberg Pförtner look old. Sarah Lincoln from the Society for Freedom Rights made it clear: "It cannot be that, on the one hand, Section 13 of the Basic Law is also applied to refugee accommodation, while at the same time it is normal, without a judicial order, to enter the home of the holder of fundamental rights at night, just to carry out a Dublin transfer.”

The state of Baden-Württemberg in particular had already made its reactionary intentions clear in advance: "Illegal immigration is a serious threat to public security," according to the state. The representative asked the court for a principled decision to distinguish search and entry into the room of a refugee accommodation in order to enable future entry by police officers without any problems.
The representative of the city of Freiburg, on the other hand, considered it "not a serious encroachment on fundamental rights" if refugees in Freiburg had their bags searched at any time.

The verdict itself has to be viewed in a differentiated manner, according to the Essen lawyer Meister. It is outrageous that, according to the Federal Administrative Court, entry and the actual search do not require a judicial order. The justification follows an adventurous interpretation of the term “danger to public safety and order”.« A term that is normally associated with situations of immediate threat to life and limb, reports the lawyer. "In fact, the court interpreted it as a threat to public safety and order if it failed to deport the refugee in question on the same day." his room had been invaded: “Entering the room was also necessary to prevent an urgent threat to public safety and order according to Art. 13 (7) GG, because the plaintiff, who was enforceably obliged to leave the country, had to be transferred to Italy on the same day ."
This is outrageous discrimination against Alassa - but it also makes it clear what fear the state of Baden-Württemberg had in the turbulent situation after the major police raid in Ellwangen of the spokesman for the Alassa refugees.

The Circle of Friends of Refugee Solidarity sees this judgment as a reflection of current legal developments in criminal law decisions and the results of the EU Asylum Summit. 

After consultation with his client Alassa Mfouapon, Meister announced that he would file a constitutional complaint against this judgment with the Federal Constitutional Court. »In our opinion, this judgment violates not only the Basic Law but also the European Convention on Human Rights (EMK). It is therefore in the interest of every democratically thinking person to take further action against this direction of restricting the basic rights and freedoms of refugees.«

The process was then evaluated in a short rally. A refugee from Saxony was the last to speak and said: “I am proud of this day and it is an honor for me to be here with you. We will win!” Regardless of today's verdict – he's right about that.

This was followed by a rally by Leipzig initiatives: "we want home, no camps". Unfortunately, they were not ready for a joint rally for petty reasons. But in the end, parts of the initiative made sure that Alassa presented his entire contribution, which he was not allowed to make in court, to the 40 or so young people, interrupted by repeated applause.

Further information will be published on the Friends' website.

Friends of Refugee Solidarity in SI, Regional Group East –
Donations via: "Solidarity International eV", IBAN: DE86 5019 0000 6100 8005 84, keyword: "Refugee Solidarity" and

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