05 February 2012

A Letter to the Families of the Accused

Letter to the mothers, wives, children and families of the Somali men in prison in Hamburg, Germany.

We write this letter although you don't know us and we don't know you. We write to you because we got to know these 10 boys and men on trial, whom you have been missing for two years.

Recently, the prosecutor has asked for long prison sentences for all of the accused. We don't know what the final verdict will be, but each of them have two lawyers who are trying to get the best result for them.

We want to assure you that your people are not completely alone here. We know that they miss you very much. A while ago, we decided to start visiting them. The younger ones have had visits for one year now. Not all of the older ones have been visited yet, but we hope that more people will join us, so that everyone can get visits.

We are a number of individuals who have been attending the trial and who feel a responsibility not to leave the Somali prisoners to themselves. We are not part of any organisation.

We started visiting them because we believe that it is important to show them that they are not alone in this country, a country that is foreign to them and where they were taken against their will. We want to show them that there are people who care.

Right now, the most important thing for them is to be able to talk to you, their families and friends, and we try to support this as much as we can.

We know that we cannot replace you, but we hope to make you feel a little bit more reassured knowing that they have some support here. You are welcome to contact us, and we hope to be able to answer your questions. Please be aware that we don't have any political power or financial means, and we have no influence on the trial or the verdict.

We end this letter wishing you and them that you may see each other again soon.

Hamburg, 5 February 2012