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Al Kalemji denied speech, arrested in Germany

13. März 2006

Berlin fully sides with Washington’s war on democracy
Awni al Kalemji, the spokesman of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance, was scheduled to hold several conferences in major German cities (1) to speak on the struggle against the occupation of his country. The tour has been organised by the Free Iraq Committee (2) which has been the spearhead of the political defence of the Iraqi resistance in Germany.

When he arrived at the venue in Berlin on Saturday, March 11, the police had already deployed a unit of hundred servicemen in front of the hall. Agents of the political intelligence previously had tried to enter claiming to be civil servants. After hours of negotiations Kalemji’s lawyer was told that the police department “only” wanted to hand over a “written document” to him. This seemed, however, not plausible as the police had searched the house where Kalemji had slept. After the intervention of two members of parliament, Christian Ströbele for the Greens and Ulla Jelpe for the Linkspartei, who came to the hall, they were told that Kalemji was banned to publicly speak without further specifying. Upon defiance he would risk to get arrested.

In an immediate reaction the lawyer Heinz-Jürgen Schneider (3) said that this muzzle ordinance is not only unprecedented but a blatant violation of the constitutional rights. As Kalemji did not surrender himself to the police the ominous document of the Berlin police department was not handed over as they refused to transmit it to his lawyer.

Together with the organisers of the Free Iraq Committee Awni al Kalemji decided to challenge the anti-democratic police-state methods and thus to hold the next conference scheduled in Hamburg – all the more as it was likely that the ordinance would only cover Berlin.

But also in Hamburg the police intervened and eventually detained him for several hours allegedly to “check his identity”. They claimed that the public prosecution had started an investigation for “incitement to unlawful action” without elaboration nor handing over any document. They harassed the participants of a spontaneous protest demonstration beating some and arresting at least one further.

Despite the fact that the police operations lack any legal ground it was clear that the political regime wanted to impede by all means Kalemji addressing the German public. Thus we are back in a Metternich-type (4) situation in order to protect the Holy Alliance led by the US. Given the witch hunt under the guise of the “war on terror” against democratic forces insisting on right to resist imperialism in connection with Kalemji’s already difficult position in Denmark, his county of refuge, the and his bad health condition it was decided to cancel the tour.

In a statement (5) released on late on Sunday, March 12, the Free Iraq Committee announced that they would continue their struggle against the occupation of Iraq and their support for the resistance.

The lessons of the episode are striking:

1) Germany is fully on the side of the US war and subordinated part of the American Empire. The so-called opposition against the US aggression on Iraq was not much more then a cheap PR operation to please the public opinion. The regime and the elites, however, never had in mind to leave the US umbrella. The eventually proven fact that the German intelligence provided major target coordinates for the US war machine clearly displays this as well as Berlin’s participation in driving the spiral of escalation against Iran.

2) The “Democratic West” does not exist. The muzzle against the IPA’s spokesman is only the latest episode in the dismantling of the rule of law. We just want to remember the authority’s harassments against Kalemji in Denmark and Britain (6), the prosecution of the Danish supporters of the Palestinian PFLP and the Colombian FARC (7), the recent heavy prison sentences against the supporters of the Turkish DHKC in Belgium (8) and the ongoing political trials against the Anti-imperialist Camp in Italy (9) all for alleged support to “terrorism”. The war against the anti-imperialist resistance includes the curbing and strangling of the remaining democratic spaces. Also in this respect the US shows the way with the Patriot act and Guantanamo. As we have seen in connection with the affair of the insulting caricatures against the prophet of Islam, freedom of speech and press does only exist for the warmongers and the empire’s hack writers. For dissidents there is no freedom of expression.

3) Some might wonder why this kind of inproportional repression although there is no powerful force within the Western societies which could challenge its imperial drive let alone the capitalist regime altogether? The anti-imperialist resistance is an international fact of which the Iraqi and Palestinian resistance are only the emblematic spearhead. Also the tyrant knows that there are billions of wretched of the world who are inspired by it and endorse it. This can turn into active support as soon as the leviathan shows weakness and the relationship of forces promises success to rebellion. Like Hitler’s Nazi fascism was a pre-emptive move of imperialism against a domestic anti-capitalist revolution, the US Empire is the attempt of the pre-emptive extermination of a global anti-imperialist revolution.

We will not give in, we will build the Anti-imperialist Front proclaimed by Bolivarian president Hugo Chavez, also in Europe supporting the Iraqi resistance and defending the endangered democratic rights.

Anti-imperialist Camp
March 13, 2006

(3) Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Schneider, phone 0049-40-8513116, email
(4) Metternich was the long-time chancellor of Austria who protected the Holy Alliance of the reactionary imperial powers against the popular national and democratic liberation movements by means of the police state.
(6) Access for Awni al Kalemji to the UK refused
(7) Authorities in Denmark arrest leaders of legal Danish political party
(8) Belgium: The freedom of opinion they mean
(9) Italy: Leaders, activists of Anti-imperialist Camp, Turkish revolutionaries arrested