Hagen Kopp did the right thing
As we have learned, Hagen Kopp is on trial for "publicly calling for criminal offences" because he is said to have called for support for initiatives that wanted to organize citizens' asylum for refugees, e.g. Afghans, threatened with deportation.
Afghanistan is a war-torn country. Most parts of the country are under Taliban control. Where the government is in charge, there are constant attacks and bombings, often killing dozens of people. There is no security in Afghanistan. The German government knows this, with the result of an official travel warning. The website of the Federal Foreign Office reads: "We warn against trips to Afghanistan. German nationals are requested to leave Afghanistan."
The deportation of a refugee from Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq to his/her home country, is a crime against humanity. With such a deportation, the government consciously accepts the killing of the refugee. It breaks not only German, but also international and international law. According to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: "Every human being has the inherent right to life. … No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life." This is exactly what the German government accepts if it insists on deporting people to countries at war or civil war.
Resistance to such a policy is not only allowed, it is a duty. Regardless of the fact that the call to support initiatives for citizens' asylum as such is not a call to commit a crime, a direct call to hide such refugees would also be justified.
We have known Hagen Kopp for two decades as a tireless campaigner for the rights of refugees and migrants. He often visited us in Greece and took part in international events and campaigns, which were organized in the context of migration issues. We remember well his important contributions to the European Social Forum in Athens 2006 and the No-border camp at Lesvos 2009, which led to the early closure of the refugee prison camp in Pagani near the island's capital Mytilini. He was one of those from Germany who right from the start actively supported the accomodation space for refugees "City Plaza" in Athens. Hagen often visited us at City Plaza.
The prosecution of Hagen is in line with the increasing persecution of solidarity to refugees in many European countries. For example, two days ago in Greece, Doctors Without Borders were fined 35,000 euros for "illegal buildings" while running a medical center for refugees outside the notorious Moria camp in Lesbos, together with the UNHCR, to tackle the threat posed by the corona virus. The station is also to be closed.
Hagen Kopp must not be punished for the publications he is accused of. We demand the proceedings against him to be terminated immediately.
Network for Political and Social Rights, Athens-Greece
Initiative for an Anti-Capitalist Internationalist Left, Greece