Initiative in memory of Oury Jalloh

The “Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh” was founded immediately after the death by fire of Oury Jalloh in the detention cell No. 5 of the Dessau-Roßlau police station on January 7, 2005. 

The investigations of the public prosecution of Dessau in the case were from the very beginning aimed at proving “…that the theoretical possibility existed in any case that he (Oury Jalloh) himself had arranged the killing” – as Chief Public Prosecutor Folker Bittmann put it at the first and only press conference of his office on the “tragic event” of the arson murder of Oury Jalloh (Video [german] Min. 9:17 to 11:11).

The investigations were and still are deliberately delayed, one-sidedly restricted or blocked. Evidence was actively manipulated, witnesses were pressured and facts were covered up. A structurally racist political system and the racist consensus within society made this and many other murders of the political system possible. Police violence is covered by politics and state investigative bodies, the judiciary denies the racism of the institutions and their officials and thus follows the politically given guidelines of a constitution-preventing reason of state. 

We do not only fight for the clarification of the murder of Oury Jalloh, but also want to expose the causal, structural racism through discriminatory laws for asylum seekers, through violent police practices against “foreigners” and through illegal reasoning of the judiciary, which has made numerous other murders of non-whites and migrants in Germany and abroad possible. Thus we also fight for the enlightenment of the society about the causes and tradition of racism and its historical and ongoing crimes in the name of a supposedly civilized constitutional state, as Germany, the USA and many other nations of the West so readily pretend to be.


Workshop “Oury Jalloh – How the German state covers up a racist murder in a police cell”. Information event with the Initiative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh

Oury Jalloh was tied hand and foot, maltreated and burned in a Dessau police cell on January 7, 2005. The Initiative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh has been fighting ever since for the clarification of the murder and thus against the resistance of the police and judiciary, who from the beginning claimed that Oury Jalloh set himself on fire. After a total of four years of trials in the Regional Courts in Dessau and Magdeburg, only the then duty group leader was sentenced to a fine of €10,800 for involuntary manslaughter. The cause of the fire and the death of Oury Jalloh was not clarified by the courts, however. The murderers are still on the loose! Therefore, the initiative has increasingly taken on investigative tasks independently.
Between 2013 and 2019, the initiative published several reports by international experts which prove that Oury Jalloh was murdered and burned in police custody. In recent months, the initiative has established a commission that works independently from the state. This commission was founded at the end of January 2018 and started its work right away. Together with the Commission, the initiative is now working on the investigation of three unsolved murders in one and the same police station in Dessau.

In this workshop, activists of the initiative will report on the state of the investigation, on their experiences with years of repression, on institutional racism in the police and judiciary, on the importance of self-organization and on the International Independent Commission for the Investigation of the Death of Oury Jalloh. Afterwards, we will have a discussion on the following question: Why stays the German majority society silent when a person is tortured and burned in police custody? Clarification needs facts, protest and continuity! Oury Jalloh – That was murder!

Renzo de Pablo is an activist in many shapes and forms. Coming from a colonized island in the Caribbean called Curaçao, he will dedicate an intervention for ENOUGH. An intervention that intertwines colonization, systematic opression, passivity of Switzerland during colonization and recent times.