31 August 2011

The torture continues

Report from 31. August 2011

The Norwegian Somalia expert Stieg Hansen gave evidence, for the fifth time.

While he was interviewed by one of the defence lawyers, one of the defendants complained about pain in his ears and took his headphones off. The judge immediately demanded he put them back on and sit so that “it is apparent that you are listening”. The defendant then started crying.

29 August 2011

Court rejects stay application

On August, 25., the court decided to reject the application for a stay of proceedings. The application had been made by the defence on the basis that there were insufficient legal grounds for the arrests and that the accused were not treated according to German, Dutch and international law.

In its reasons, the court stated that the basis for the arrest was Section 105 of UN Maritime Law, and that even if the accused were not treated in accordance with Dutch law, this was not sufficient reason to stop the trial.

New dates taking trial until end of November

The last few of days in court were spent hearing a psychologist from the youth authorities on the condition of one of the accused. The recurring theme with this affidavit and the defendants' own statements appears to be the fear of the accused for their families in Somalia, exacerbated by them being imprisoned and unable to help.

An expert witness aims the laser pointer at the panel of judges

Several trial dates in the last couple of weeks have been cancelled. The new dates have been set as follows:

Wed, 31. August
Thu, 01. September
Fri, 02. September
Mon, 26. September
Tue, 04. October
Wed, 05. October
Tue, 18. October
Wed, 19. October
Thu, 27. October
Fri, 28. October
Mon, 31. October
Wed, 02. November
Fri, 04. November
Tue, 08. November
Wed, 09. November
Mon, 14. November
Tue, 15. November
Mon, 21. November
Fri, 26. November
Tue, 29. November
Wed, 30. November

New application as result of denial of bail

The court has declined the application for bail for the three under-age defendants on the grounds that there are people in Hamburg who have shown empathy for the accused, who could then aid their flight. In response to this, the defence has applied for disclosure of the sources of this information. The court has reserved its decision.

15 August 2011

PARLEZ – Real Pirates. Investigations in the den of the grouper.

'Fundus Theatre', Hamburg, 'geheimagentur' Hamburg
Première and co-production

24.08. - 26.08. 8pm, Kampnagel Theatre - K1
In German, English and Somali

Slavery, crusades, piracy – when we were children, this all seemed to belong to the distant past. Although – pirates? We celebrate them at children's birthday parties, at football games and in Hollywood movies. But in reality we have switched sides to the navy: “Daddy is off to hunt pirates” ran a headline in the MOPO newspaper, and the first piracy trial in 400 years is currently taking place in Hamburg. How is that possible, and what sort of pirates are they anyway? The 'Fundus' theatre gave 300 children the opportunity to ask questions of the Puntland pirates, and 'geheimagentur' went off into the den of the grouper to present the questions. During the summer festival they will incite Somali pirates, Hamburg children and the audience to PARLEZ. PARLEZ was the code word with which the pirates claimed their right to be heard at the pirate's council. On one side there is us, the wannabe pirates with black flags and eye patches, and on the other side there are the real pirates. What happens when spectacle and reality of piracy meet? What happens on the edges of the sphere of law, where common good and law are destroyed and have to be re-invented?

'Geheimagentur' is a free label which produces situations and installations that seem like fiction but then pass the reality check. “Our works want to create a different reality, instead of just reaffirming the old, with critical intentions”

[Concept and Realisation] geheimagentur
[With] Mustafa Omar, Agane Muhamad Farah, children from Hamburger schools and ex-pirates from Little Mogadischu / Kenia
[Research] Moira Lenz, Hagar Groeteke

Wed 24.08. 20:00 8 € - 12 € Kampnagel Kasse / Ticketonline
Thu 25.08. 20:00 8 € - 12 € Kampnagel Kasse / Ticketonline
Fr 26.08. 20:00 8 € - 12 € Kampnagel Kasse / Ticketonline

14 August 2011

Court declines application for bail!

The court has declinded all the applications for bail which were made before the summer break. A press release from 'One World Network', 'No One Is Illegal' and the 'Third World Harbour Group' follows. 

Press release 12 August 2011
Court declines application for bail!
Aiding and abetting escape through observing the trial?

The Hamburg court is obviously running out of reasons to keep the 10 accused Somali in custody: instead of ending the inappropriately long remand in custody, the court has pulled out of the hat a new reason for the alleged flight risk of the defendants. People who have expressed solidarity and who have been monitoring the trial have been slandered. The court is suggesting that these people would also aid and abet the defendants absconding the trial. “Those we would like to help escape the country are the prosecutor and the judge” says Michaela Goedeke from the group 'No One Is Illegal' in Hamburg.