Germany: Refugee burns alive in police station.

Nieuws, gepost door: veganarchist op 15/12/2012 12:02:11

Wanneer: 15/12/2012 - 15:27

Almost 8 years ago, in a cell at the police station, in german town Dessau, Oury Jalloh burned alive. This was a refugee from Sierra Leone.

His hands and legs where locked to the bed where he burned. The anti fire alarm was off, the police officers had switched it off. The judge gave as a verdict to one of the police officers to pay 11.000 euro for 'accidently killing'.

In 2010 the police officers where cleared from the charges. The police officers who did the investigation made many mistakes and the verdict of the first court was deleted. On the day of the courtcase outside the building, people where protesting against the police officer, who they blamed for killing a refugee.

Tags: police germany racisme




Submitted by voice on Wed, 30/03/2005 - 14:27. Camps, Lager and Detention Centers

The following documents, in chronological order, are a collection of the latest campaign work done in the case of Oury Jalloh, the 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone/Guinea Conakry who was burned alive in his jail cell on the 7th of January in the german city of Dessau. We continue to work on this issue and are in desperate need of international support. This is because the authorities are doing everything possible to hide the truth. Please circulate this information to as many groups and individuals as possible. We would be very grateful for any support you could give us. Possibilities include organizing protests against the german embassy in your country, fax campaigns, sending letters of protest, publishing the information in local press, indymedia, etc. We can also arrange interviews in: English, French, German, Spanish and Arabic.

Please remember to inform us about all solidarity events or publications, as this information is needed in order to document the campaign. E-Mails can be sent to:

In Memory of Oury Jalloh!


Neither forgive nor forget!

Who knew Oury Jallow or Laye Kondé? Who knows something about their lives, the families they left behind, their feelings and their fears? Who knows how they died and why?

On the 7th of January, two Africans died at the hands of the german police. In germany, the 7th of January was just another day. Normal. Simply another day which for many people belongs to the past and—like the past—is forgotten. Nothing more and nothing less than another Friday in the first month of a new year.

Other people don’t have such short memories and they also don’t forget. What’s more, there are some people for whom the 7th of January represents and will continue to represent another day in the infamous colonial history of this country and of this continent; people who can only understand the death of two Africans to represent a continuation of the past and the present. One single nightmare.

The facts:

Oury Jallow and Laye Kondé, both from Sierra Leone, died because they and their like are not welcomed in this country. They died because they found themselves in a country that continues to say “Ausländer Raus!” (Foreigners Out!) they died because both the german state and the society do everything in their means to isolate, exclude, destroy and expulse Oury, Laye and many, many others like them.

Oury died tied to a bed in his police cell in the city of Dessau, burned alive in what the authorities claim to have been a “suicide”. Laye, on the other hand, died far away from there, in the city of Bremen, his lungs filled with a liquid forced into his body by the police who were attempting to make him vomit out the drugs he was supposedly hiding.

Do you wish to have more information? Should we be more objective? How’s this: According to the newspaper Die Zeit from the 9th of March, “[only January of this year] a right-wing extremist crime is committed each hour. Officially, 745 crimes and 39 acts of violence of the extreme right were committed in all of Germany [...] According to last year’s statistics, there were a total of 7.943 crimes and 489 acts of violence of the extreme right.”

Do you think Oury and Laye were included in their statistics?

More objectivity? Here is an article published by the newspaper TAZ, which wrote: “according to a study of the conflict and violence researcher Wilhelm Heitmeyer, the large, silent majority is amazingly large. 60 percent of all germans believe that too many foreigners live in this country. 69 percent are bothered by the fact that they are still being associated with the crimes against the Jewish people. Of these 69 percent, half of them consider themselves to be part of the political center.”

Confirmed in terms that all of us can understand, there is no doubt has such a horrendous crime can be committed in silence, whereas the authorities clearly are doing everything they can to cover up a crime that has for a long time been a daily horror for many people of non-European heritage.

But what we tell you now is nothing new. It is not new for you and it is not new for us. And you, just like us, know it very well. Isn’t this what they call “normal?” Is this not the mundane, everyday situation, even if not for you personally? But then again, you don’t see it as your problem; it happened to somebody else. When you read this—if you read this—you will probably feel uncomfortable and maybe even upset. This is also a normal reaction. You, just like us, are used to your indifference.

Now, in Dessau, the attorney general is rejecting the possibility of a second, independent autopsy, which could confirm such unanswered questions like: were his wrists really broken or not? Now, although they appear to have “changed their minds”, the authorities are creating difficulties for a public religious ceremony to commemorate the life—and death—of just another African whom to many was a brother and a friend.

The friends of Oury have said they will carry out the procession with or without the permission of the authorities and that they will continue to denounce what is really happening in the city of Dessau. Since maintaining such a strong position often times means that those who refuse to bow their heads are left alone, it is even more important that we share in their fraternal support to ensure that Oury receives a dignified treatment in this country. At least once.

One last word. It doesn’t cost you neither too much time nor money to support the friends of Oury in making sure he at least finds that in death which this country has denied to him in life: respect. It is just one single day of your normal life. Come to Dessau!

We demand:

A second and independent autopsy
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 03-21-2005


The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh (Dessau) condemns the attempts of the State Attorney of Dessau to block further investigations of the body of Oury Jalloh—necessary in order to resolve unanswered questions—before his body is sent back to Guinea-Conakry. Oury Jalloh died on the 7th of January under still unclear circumstances. Together with other migrant and anti-racist initiatives we demand an x-ray to be carried out on the corpse in order to determine the true causes of his death as well as an immediate stop to attempts to repatriate his corpse before a final forensic report is emitted and can be medically confirmed. Furthermore, the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh denounces that city officials have denied the possibility of carrying out the funeral proceedings in the city center.

The death of Oury Jalloh should have provoked a wave of condemnation. The death of Oury Jalloh should be a shame for a country which is this year celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of Nazi horror. But this is not the case. On the contrary: German officials, the society and the press are silent. Even five years after Antonio Adriano from Mozambique was murdered by three Nazis on the streets of Dessau.

The facts:

Nobody doubts that Oury Jalloh, who died on the 7th of January in a police station in Dessau, tied by his hand and feet to a bed and burned alive, occurred under what are still unclear circumstances. Likewise, as anybody who has any knowledge about this case knows, there are still many, many unanswered questions. Nevertheless, everything is being done in order to hide the truth about what really happened on the morning of the 7th of January. Thus, for example, the State Attorney has refused Regina Götz, the attorney contracted by Oury's mother to represent her, requests to carry out a post mortem x-ray in order to determine the exact cause of death. This in spite of the fact that official police reported that Oury Jalloh violently resisted his detention, that force was used to subdue him, or the fact that early pressed reports stated that both Jalloh's wrists were broken.

According to the lawyer, still unclear is also the issue of how a lighter could have made its way into the cell when the responsible police officers claimed in their first interrogation that it would have been impossible to overlook when his body and belongings were searched. Furthermore, on the 10th of January, in the first official inventory taken of items found in the cell at the time of the death of Oury Jalloh, no lighter was registered. One day later, on the 11th of January, the lighter appears in the reports. Other open questions are: why was Oury Jalloh tied by his hand an feet to his bed for several hours? How can a fire-proof mattress be set on fire by a person who is tied to it? And how can it be that three police officers cannot hear the screams of a person burning to death—if this is to be believed—and not have noticed any fire in spite of the fire alarms and in spite of the intercom system of the police station.

Not just the State Attorney is in a hurry to close the case. The authorities also present a united wall of silence when the subject turns to what really happened on the 7th of January. Even the public funeral procession which is being organized by Oury Jalloh's friends—the only people who have done anything at all in support of the truth and the family of Oury Jalloh—has been prohibited by the authorities due to "political reasons," so that the funeral will now take place outside of Dessau. In all of this, the only thing clear appears to be the interest of the authorities to do everything possible to send Oury back as soon as possible to where he came from so that he and the truth can be buried, far from the place where he died.

Why did Oury Jalloh die? Why were there so few reports in the press, many of which contradicted each other? How can there be such silence from all parts? Perhaps because the victim was just another black, another African, another asylum seeker who died or was even murdered? Is this once again "normal" in Germany? Who would have thought that just fourteen years following the racist attack in Hoyerswerda and 60 years following Auschwitz that such a horrendous crime would be met by a wall of silence?

According to Attorney General Folker Bittmann: “[there] is no longer any criminal suspicion against the police officer who searched Oury Jalloh's upper body.” Perhaps this is the reason why the State Attorney denies the possibility of further examinations of the corpse before it is sent back to Africa. Likewise, local politicians must surely have good reasons to ban the funeral procession from the city center.

The press has the word.

We demand:

Repatriation stop until there is an independent post-mortem forensic x-ray
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

For more information about the death of Oury Jalloh, our demands, or the funeral procession, please contact: Mouktar Bah (0176-29435634) E-Mail:
Funeral Speech given by self-organized refugees and migrants group “Plataforma”

We are assembled here today to commemorate the life—and death—of Oury Jalloh. We have come to pay our final respects to a person who was both a brother and friend to many people. Now, he is no longer with us.

It is difficult to find words to describe what happened on that day the 7th of January. For many of us who come from countries in the so-called Third World, it is clear that the death of Oury Jalloh could have been the death of any one of us. With so many racist police controls, abuse and even violence, it may have even been a matter of being the wrong person at the wrong time at the wrong place.

For us and for all of you, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh. There are too many contradictions, too many inconsistencies and even too many attempts to cover up the truth that even the German Association of Criminal Police said about the investigations of the case: “an image has been given of unconcerned and incapable police.” If this is what their own say, what are we to think?

So now Oury, a refugee in this country, is dead. Born a refugee and died a refugee. A refugee his whole life. He has taken with him to his grave the status given to him in this country for someone seeking protection from persecution: Duldung (literally tolerance and technically postponement of the deportation).

But Oury was not alone. He was one of the many refugees who have died because they were forced to flee in search of a better life. Of something to eat and maybe even—Oury Jalloh was only 21 years-old—the possibility to study. For some reason we fail to understand, this is considered by many European governments and their citizens to be a crime. And thus, refugees seeking protection are treated as mere criminals. And like people criminalized by society, their rights and dignity are taken away from them; refugees are people for whom opportunity and respect remain foreign words lacking any kind of real meaning in their lives. Especially here. Especially in Germany, where we are isolated and excluded from society.

And now spring has returned to Europe. The winds begin to change, the weather warms up, and the waters of the Mediterranean Ocean begin to calm. Much more than new possibilities for the European tourist, this means that more and more bodies will wash upon the shores of Fortress Europe, symbols of a dream that died in journey. There are ten of thousands of them, some dead and some who manage to live another day. They risk their lives to come here—and for what?

What is the price that must be paid to reach the shores of Fortress Europe? What price did Oury Jalloh pay to come here, surviving the journey only to be burned alive in “paradise?” And his family? What kind of images ran through their minds? That their son finally made it to Europe? That Oury, their son, would finally have an opportunity to be something more than a refugee in his life? That he would receive education and employment? That he finally had reached the place of civilization, progress and opportunity?

Do you think Oury told his family about the conditions he was forced to live in as a refugee? Did he tell them about Duldung and Heims, Residenzpflicht and Abschiebung? Did he tell them that he was often times controlled and abused by the police because he was a black man? That he was denied the possibility to work or study, to move freely or even learn the German language? Did he tell them that the only official opportunity left open to him was to sit in his Heim—eat and sleep, eat and sleep—until his deportation notification came and his “Duldung” ended? Did he tell them that it was deportation or to—once again!—flee in search of survival?

But now it is too late. Oury Jalloh did not survive. He died in a jail cell in a town called Dessau. Oury died—burned alive—his hands and feet tied to his jail bed. And we are here to remember him. We are here to pay him and other like him the honor and respect they deserve but were eternally denied: respect and dignity. We are here to share our sorrow and pain with those who have died on the shores and within the walls of the European Fortress.

We have also come today with a word for all of you present here today. We have come to tell you that this situation cannot continue and that we will no longer remain silent in the face of such systematic and widespread inhumanity. And so we make a call to the German society and to the German government: Stop this violence! The exclusion, criminalization and racist controls must stop! Stop treating people like criminals because the color of their skin or the color of their passports! Stop this injustice!

To our fellow refugees and migrants we say to you today that the only way to truly honor Oury Jalloh is to make sure that we do everything in our power to see that something like this never happen again. We must support one another to overcome our fear and to break our isolation. In order to truly pay our respects to Oury Jalloh we must see to it that his unjust death be turned into something positive: our coming together to say ENOUGH! ENOUGH VIOLENCE! ENOUGH INJUSTICE!

A final word. In his poem “How long?” Palestinian poet Muhammad Aziz al-Hababi wrote, “When will we enjoy the seeds of our land and the sweetness of our sky? When will the sun find a place in our hearts? Will a day finally come? The day. Just like for everyone else? Everyone seeks peace. We prefer to be in struggle against the death that blinds us [...] Everyday. Relentlessly.”

We too believe that this is a fight against the culture and logic of death, of war, of historic injustice. If we have it in our hearts, this is something we can share together.

Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 03-29-2005


The Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh makes know that—despite the lack of support from the State Attorney’s Office—a second autopsy will be carried out on the corpse of Oury Jalloh.

Declaration of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh:

An important step was taken last Saturday in informing the public about what happened on the 7th of January in the police station of Dessau. Nevertheless, the only hope of finding out the truth is by keeping up the pressure. It should be known that this is exactly what we are going to do.

We criticize the fact that hardly anybody from Dessau and very few Germans took part in the funeral or the demonstration. We ask ourselves if this is because Oury Jalloh was considered to be just another refugee to be deported.

In our opinion, the cover-up of this whole story is taking place on multiple levels and is being carred out by all authorities involved. Irregardless of what the results of a second autopsy may prove to be, it is clear that everything is being done to hinder a clarification of what truly happened.

Here are some of the unanswered questions regarding the case of Oury Jalloh:

Our deep suspicion regarding the possibility of a completely drunk person who is chained by his hands and feet can burn himself to death is already clear. Additionally, we ask:

What type of material was the mattress made out of?
 How does it burn, how quickly and, above all, how much material is needed to produce a fire of 365 degrees Celsius?
 Where exactly was the mattress damaged“ and what procedures do the police have when such mattresses are damaged?
 Where is the mattress and how much of the mattress is still intact?

Furthermore, we are curious to know, since we assume that a police station is well equipped with video surveillance:

 Where are the video cameras?
 Where are the complete video tapes from the police station beginning at the time of Oury Jalloh’s being brought into the cell, his body search and finally his being chained hand and foot to the prison bed?

Other questions are:

Where is the protocol from the fire department about their intervention and what does it say about Oury Jalloh and the conditions in the cell?
How are the acoustics in the police station (from where can you hear the screams of a man who is being burned alive?)?

At a later date we will make known other doubts we have about the case.

Finally, we would like to make inform that—despite the lack of support from the State Attorney’s Office—a second autopsy will be carried out on the corpse of Oury Jalloh. The costs will be temporarily paid for by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.

We demand:

Repatriation stop until there is an independent post-mortem forensic x-ray
An independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Oury’s death
Establishment of an independent commission to investigate the case
A judicial process against the responsible police for homicide
Reparations for the family of Oury Jallow
An end to police brutality and control

For more information about the death of Oury Jalloh or our demands please contact: Mouktar Bah (0176-29435634) E-Mail: /

Submitted by voice on Tue, 29/03/2005 - 03:52. Camps, Lager and Detention Centers
DEUTSCH: Pressemitteilung: Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 29-03-2005
ENGLISH: Press Release: Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, Berlin/Dessau 03-29-2005

DEUTSCH: Redebeitrag der Plataforma in Dessau
ENGLISH: Platform's Speech at the Funeral for Oury Jalloh, 26.03.05 in Dessau

PresseArtikel Archives: 26.03.25 - Nach Tod in Polizeigewahrsam

Dringender Aufruf zu einer Faxkampagne: Initiative im Gedenken an Oury Jalloh
Stellungnahme zur Presseerklärung der Staatsanwaltschaft

Press info: 21.03.2005

Dessau, am 26.03.05: Trauerzug für Oury Jallow - Platform Aufruf in eng,french,spanish

verbrannt in seiner Zelle
Kein Vergessen und kein Vergeben!
Trauerzug in Dessau
26.03.05 - Hauptbahnhof Dessau 12 Uhr

Wer kennt Oury Jallow oder Laye Kondé? Wer weiss etwas über ihre Leben und deren Familien, die sie zurückließen, über ihre Gefühle und Ängste? Wer weiß, wie sie starben und warum?
Am 7. Januar kamen in den Händen der Polizei zwei Afrikaner zu Tode. Am 7. Januar war in Deutschland einfach ein Tag, wie jeder andere. Gewöhnlich. Ein Tag, der für viele Menschen schon längst der Vergangenheit angehört und damit wie so oft in Vergessenheit gerät. Schlicht ein Freitag im ersten Monat des neuen Jahres, nicht mehr und auch nicht weniger......

ENGLISH: Dessau, 26.03.05 for Oury Jallow’s Funeral procession... NEVER AGAIN!!!
FRENCH: Dessau, 26.03.05 procession de funérailles en la mémoire d´Oury Jallow...PLUS JAMAIS!!!
SPNAISH: Dessau, 26.03.05 procesión funeral en memoria de Oury Jallow... NUNCA MÁS!!!

mehr info:
-Elf Wochen nach dem Feuertod eines Afrikaners
-1 Monat nach dem Tod von Oury Jalloh im DessauerPolizeigewahrsam - PressespiegelAsylbewerber war gefesselt

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