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international bordercamp strasbourg

After the Camp, an Activist in Prison

We demand that all charges against Ahmed Merguini be dropped; that he be immediately released from solitary confinement and allowed visits, and that be released from detention before the trial on August 21.

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04.Aug.02 - Ahmed Merguini, activist from the group Spontaneous Movement, (created in Paris after the primary presidential elections) and participant of the No Border Camp in Strasbourg from July 18 to 28, 2002, fell victim to a targeted arrest during the demonstration of July 24 calling for freedom of movement and freedom of residence and demanding the closing of immigrant detention centers.

The violence of the police repression during this protest (massive use of tear gas and pepper spray, and beatings) severely injured at least two activists, one by a rubber bullet fired at a distance of less than four meters. The whole camp was subject to constant police harassment, such as a ban on all demonstrations, 50 arrests, and charges leading to trial for 7 people.

More generally, community organizers against social control and the systems that support it are the object of specific attention by police forces. This is the reason why we fear that Ahmed might become a symbol of the States desire to muzzle all dissent against the forces of security.

We also fear that he might become a scapegoat for all the actions of the whole camp. While the actions and demonstrations developed in many forms and could not be prevented, the criminalization of Ahmed has the effect of a late vengeance to show that, in spite of everything, the State is still ready to control these savages who dissent against the established order.

Ahmed is currently in preventative detention, held in solitary confinement. He is not allowed to visit family members or friends, only the prison guards and his lawyer. We denounce the practice of solitary confinement in prisons because they cut prisoners off from the little social life they have left. They also suppress all the fixed points of daily life and are the occasion for all sorts of harrassments, privations, and abuses. Psychological and psychiatric problems often result from these stays in solitary confinement, which are classed as a form of white torture.

Given the context of these last days, it seems evident to us that Ahmed's placement in solitary confinement, like all of the prosecutions brought against the particpants of the camp, come not from justice but from politics.

The No Border activists are still mobilized and we actively support the struggle against repression, in prison as well as outside.

Il-legal team