The fear has come true for the Vienna Refugee Protest. Yesterday eight men were taken by the police, and later today, together with some refugees who have been seeking asylum in Germany, they are to be deported to Pakistan. (Update, 11 PM July 29: they seem all to have been sent via Air Berlin to Pakistan today through Qatar.)
Please take 30 seconds to sign this petition http://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/stop-the-deportation-of-the-refugee-activists-stop-der-abschiebung-der-refugeeaktivisten?utm_campaign=petition_created&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides and share it among your friends.
For background information on the protest, please see my other posts on Occupy Duniyahttp://asylstrikeberlin.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/heute-29-7-stopp-deportationen-nach-pakistan-nicht-von-wien-nicht-von-berlin-und-nirgendwo/ and https://www.facebook.com/RefugeeCampVienna. Finally, there are these two translations of recent messages, one from the movement, the other from the Cardinal of Vienna.
Vienna, 29 July 2013: A mass contingent of police has brutally stormed the protest against the deportation of eight refugees from the Servite Monastery. Even Lennart Binder, a lawyer representing six of the refugees, was forcibly detained from about 8 to 8:30 by the police, preventing him from having much time to talk to them, with the insinuation that he had also participated in the rally.
Since the arrest of the eight Pakistanis, the protests there increased more and more, and they continued at the airport beginning at 10:00. Assumption: the morning Air Berlin flight to Lahore.
In the morning, as representatives of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Advisory Board left the detention prison, it seemed that there were negotiations for the release of Pakistani refugees. Then Interior Minister Mikl-Leitner announced that they would be repatriated. Before the Rossauerlände police station, about 40 refugees and supporters were dragged away, many of them charged because the demo had been registered for a later time. At least one of the peaceful protesters were injured in the back when carried away by the police.
The Vienna Refugee Protest calls for a humane asylum system in Austria and an end to deportation. A demonstration has been registered for July 29, 2013 at 3:00 from the Rossauerlände police station to the Ministry of the Interior.
The Viennese Cardinal asks that the arrested refugees not be deported from the Servite Monastery: “I am very worried for their lives.”
VIENNA (28 7 2013). With dismay, and an appeal to the authorities, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has responded to the arrest of refugees from Servite Monastery. Cardinal Schönborn, who is currently at the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, said, “We have repeatedly and strongly indicated in recent months that the human rights assessment of Pakistan as a safe place to send asylum seekers is not correct. I’m very concerned about the lives of refugees who are now to be forcibly returned there.”
Cardinal Schönborn is therefore calling on the politicians and authorities to refrain from deporting the refugees, and set them free again: “The rule of law and humanity cannot contradict each other.”
The cardinal continued: “I was shocked by the circumstances under which the action was performed: on a Sunday, the holy day of the Christians, and during Ramadan, the holy month of Muslims, when they are particularly weakened by their fast. After all that Pope Francis has said in recent weeks and months about our duty towards all those in need — and is reaffirming these days before the youth of the world — and especially after his solidarity visit to Lampedusa, this is a disappointing, sad day.”
Cardinal Schönborn concluded, “I ask the question, what role the upcoming elections have played in this action. And why is this action taking place at a time when I, who have fought for humane treatment of the refugees in the monastery, am 10,000 kilometers away in Rio de Janeiro?”
(Photo: Mustafa Naqvi, July 28, 2013)