Freedom and asylum for the Chilean Anti-fascist Jaime Yovanovic Prieto!


Only by the 20th of August we learnt from the Chilean ministry of interior that Prieto was arrested in Johannesburg to where he had been extradited by the Italian authorities on the 6th of August. Jaime came to Italy in order to participate at the Anti-imperialist Camp. From the very beginning of the camp on August 4 the police tried to enter in order to take him into custody, however, without success. Subsequently he searched for refuge in the Sacred Convent of Assisi where we officially applied for protection. Nevertheless in the night of August 5 the police took him with the consent of the Franciscans and expelled him immediately to South Africa from where he proceeded to Italy legally entering the Europe of Schengen at Amsterdam.

On the 7th of August Prieto sent his last message to the Anti-imperialist Camp form the airport of Johannesburg. He communicated that the authorities would not allow him to enter the country and would expel within 48 hour. While Jaime excluded an extradition to Chile we had to assume that he would be sent to the Netherlands where he started his legal sojourn in the Europe of Schengen. Money for the air ticket was then required. Within the Anti-imperialist Camp a collection was launched but eventually the contact to Jaime was severed making it impossible to transfer money or to send a ticket.

Despite countless attempts no more contact could be established. In the following days the immigration authorities at the airport repeatedly stated by telephone that they never have heard of a Jaime Yovanovic Prieto. So we had to conclude that he had been expelled on expiry of the 48 hours. But why he did not establish contact to us while we needed him in order to prepare the legal procedure to obtain political asylum in Italy?

We tried over and over again to establish contact with the ministry of home affairs of the RSA. After many interventions the ministry officially responded on the 19th of August by saying they would investigate the case.

On August 20 Chilean news agencies stated that Jaime actually was arrested on the 9th of August and that the South African authorities were about to negotiate his extradition to Chile were he is still wanted for his anti-fascist resistance against the dictatorship of Pinochet and there the charges brought up against him even do not exclude capital punishment.

We appeal to all the anti-fascists and anti-imperialists to mobilise immediately in order to demand that

1) South Africa immediately releases Jaime
2) Jaime will not be extradited to Chile
3) Jaime is granted political asylum

The county of Nelson Mandela cannot commit such a crime against an anti-fascist fighter! We call for protest rallies around the world in front of the South African embassies. Send protest addresses to:

Minister of Home Affairs:
Dr. M.G. Buthelezi

Director General, Dept. of Home Affairs
Private Bag X114, Pretoria, 0001

Tel: +27 (012) 314 8911
Fax: +27 (012) 323 2416

Send copies and news about protest actions to:

Anti-imperialist Camp
August 21, 2002