[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Fwd: German Police Raid "junge Welt", Seize Computers

==================BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE==================

>Date: Sun, 2 Feb 97 00:16:32 -0800
>Message-Id: <Pine.NEB.3.95.970202031444.15111C-100000@locust.cic.net>
>From: Arm The Spirit <ats@locust.cic.net>
>Subject: German Police Raid "junge Welt", Seize Computers

German Police Raid "junge Welt", Seize Computers

        On Thursday, January 30, 1997, German federal police raided the
editorial offices of the left-wing daily paper "junge Welt" in Berlin,
seizing printed materials and confiscating an entire computer system. A
warrant from a federal court in Karlsruhe noted that the materials were
being seized as part of the ongoing criminalization of the outlawed
autonomist magazine "Radikal".
        Freedom of the press is quickly becoming a thing of the past in
Germany. Last month, federal police filed felony charges against a Member of
Parliament from the leftist PDS party, simply because she had placed a link
to an Internet web site hosted by Radikal supporters in The Netherlands from
her own homepage. Now this raid on the daily paper junge Welt marks the
first time ever in Germany that a computer has been seized from the
editorial offices of a newspaper. Back in 1993, police made a copy of the
hard drive of a computer in the offices the reactionary weekly magazine
"Focus", and even that caused quite a stir. But this raid has gone far
beyond that: An entire computer belonging to a newspaper was taken away by
federal police officers, along with 19 disks, 61 pages of research material,
and 11 audio cassettes.
        Authorities stated that the raid was aimed at Wolf-Dieter Vogel,
whose private home was also raided. Vogel is the interview editor at junge
Welt. He is being accused of "aiding in the production of the left-wing
extremist, left-wing terrorist undeground publication Radikal", according to
the cops. Before becoming interview editor at junge Welt, Vogel wrote
articles about the radical-left and armed struggle in Germany, and he
contributed articles to the paper protesting the repression against Radikal.
In recent weeks, junge Welt has been an important source of information on
the MRTA standoff in Lima, Peru, as the paper has published interviews
almost every week with MRTA representatives in Europe. Vogel also published
a book on the firebombing of an asylum seekers hostel in Lubeck entitled
"The Lubeck Arson: Questions And Facts About A Justice Scandal".
        The recent police raid on junge Welt has even sent shock waves
through the reformist left as well, since it was an unprecendented attack on
journalistic confidentiality and freedom of the press. The IG Media union
protested against "this latest police and state's attorney's action against
journalists" and stated that "the raid on the editorial offices of junge
Welt and the private home of one of its editors shows that freedom on the
press and freedom of expression are becoming increasingly disregarded in
this country". Even, of all places, the Union of Critical Police Officers
issued a statement saying "the raid on junge Welt is an attempt to silence
one of the last critical voices in this society". The PDS described the raid
as a "dictatorial attack on freedom of the press by the German authorities".

Messages of solidarity can be sent to junge.welt@ipn-b.comlink.apc.org


===================END FORWARDED MESSAGE===================