R a c i s m K i l l s
Every year many people are dying by the racist policy of Fortress Europe. Deaths during deportations are accepted conscious. Marcus Omofuma is not an isolated case....

no-racism.net | Racism Kills | The Process
last update: 07.03.2002



The Process

Additional information and contacts:

For A World Without Racism
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Almost three years after Marcus Omofuma's death, the trial of three Aliens Police officers will commence on 4 March 2002 in the District Court at Korneuburg near Vienna. On 1 May 1999, while deporting Marcus Omofuma to Nigeria, the officers had used adhesive tape to tie him to his seat in the plane and to seal his mouth. He suffocated while in police custody.

Marcus Omofuma is not an isolated case.


Racism kills!

Almost three years after Marcus Omofuma's death, the trial of three Aliens Police officers will commence on 4 March 2002 in the District Court at Korneuburg near Vienna. The three Aliens Police officers are being accused of "cruelty to a prisoner resulting in his death". This offence carries a penalty of between one and ten years' imprisonment. The dates scheduled for the trial are 4, 6, 7, 11, 13 and 14 March, and 10, 11 and 15 April. Observers will be present at the trial of the three Aliens Police officers. Up-to-date news of each day in court will be available in German and English on www.no-racism.net and on Radio Orange 94.0 MHz in Vienna.

What went before

Marcus Omofuma died on Saturday, 1 May. He was being escorted by three Aliens Police officers who had been given the order to deport him. In so doing, they used adhesive tape to tie Marcus Omofuma to his seat and to seal his mouth as well as partially seal his nostrils. He suffocated even before the stopover at Sofia. Marcus Omofuma became a victim of the racist policies of Austria and the EU. The only offence Marcus Omofuma had been "guilty" of was to be illegally resident in Austria.
Within a few hours, the news of his death was greeted by spontaneous demonstrations. During the following days and months there was widespread protest by immigrants and indigenous Austrians alike, demanding the immediate resignation of the politicians and officials responsible, the introduction of antidiscriminatory legislation, an immediate halt to further deportation and the abolition of all racist laws.

"Operation Spring"

We did not have to wait long for the Austrian state's repressive response to the vociferous protest against Austrian deportation methods, the police and the then Minister of the Interior, Karl Schlögl. On 27 May and 27 September 1999, just before an election on each occasion, police raids were carried out throughout Austria. Almost 200 people, largely of African descent and including some antiracist activists, were criminalised as drug dealers on the flimsiest of evidence. As a result, public actions by immigrants against state racism tailed off rapidly. This practice is supported or accepted by official politics, the commercial media and large sections of the population. In addition to "Operation Spring", a number of further racist raids were carried out.

Not an isolated case

Marcus Omofuma's death in the course of forcible deportation is not an isolated case.
A report by the Council of Europe states that at least 10 persons have died since 1998 in EU countries in the course of forcible deportation. This tally does not include the consequences suffered by deportees in the countries of destination.
The report particularly criticises those techniques which involve partial or complete blockage of the respiratory tract, but also gagging by means of adhesive tape, the use of poison gas or tear gas, administration of sedatives without the consent of the person concerned, any restriction of movement except by means of handcuffs on the wrists, and the wearing of masks or hoods by escorting officers. Nor, according to the report, do transgressions by police officers constitute isolated cases. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution demanding an absolute ban on the arbitrary and disproportionate use of force in the course of deportations. The member states were unable to bring themselves to banning the practice of enforced deportation as such. Indeed, they are building up the walls of Fortress Europe, applying European isolationist and exclusionary policies to national legislation.

For freedom of movement

All persons living here shall have equal political and social rights - irrespective of origin, colour, religion, social status and gender. Differentiating instruments such as pre-deportation detention, deportation, racist laws and practices are incapable of being improved - the only solution is to prevent and abolish them. They ensure that some are excluded while others benefit. They are existentially grounded in racism. Making deportations impossible and actively supporting refugees and migrants is one aspect of civil disobedience against institutional racism and constitutes practical solidarity with persecuted human beings.


The Platform "For a world without a racism" meets every Tuesday at 5 pm at BG Schottengasse 3a/1/59, 1010 Wien (U2 Schottentor). One of the topics discussed there is the coordination of the activities of the campaign "Where is Marcus Omofuma?"

The meeting point for the weekly Thursdaydemonstrations is always at Ballhausplatz in Vienna, from 7 pm onwards; departure usually about 8 pm. The Thursday demo on 28 Feb will specifically address the trial of the three Aliens Police officers, taking racist isolationist policies as its main theme.

+++ Monday, 4 March 2002

* Rally to mark the start of the trial
8:30 - 12:00 am - Rally and street theatre in front of the District Court Korneuburg, Hauptplatz 1

How to get there from Vienna - meet at Floridsdorf station, 8 am (the S3 train departs at 8:10 am, otherwise half-hourly)
ÖBB time table inquiries

* 3 pm - 7 pm: Workshops
at Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Wien with
- Nigerian Association
- For A World Without Racism
- and others

* 8 pm: Film and panel discussion
at Cafe Sieben*, Siebensterngasse 31, 1070 Wien

+++ Friday, 15 March 2002

International Day of Protest Against Police Brutality

This day, in excoriating police brutality, will establish and strengthen links between groups fighting state brutality directly and indirectly all over the world, thus creating the international solidarity that is essential in the face internationally collaborating, extremely well-organised police forces. This will be the sixth time the International Day of Protest Against Police Brutality is taking place. Additional information: www.tao.ca/~cobp/index.html

+++ Thursday, 19 March 2002

Discussion event at Forum Stadtpark, Graz: "Where is Marcus Omofuma?" - as part of the "noborder-Zone" project Additional information on "noborder-Zone" will be available shortly at: no-racism.net/nobordertour

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