August 14 ,2008
Thank you for your ongoing support for our Austrian colleagues
as they continue to fight for their freedom.
Some Thoughts from our Prisoners:
Night time in the cell
Many prisoners take sleeping tablets to get to sleep. At 10 p.m. the hole in the steel cell door opens and a guard pushes the tablets in. You have to swallow the tablets in front of the guard?s eyes, so that you cannot save them up in order to use them all at once to sleep forever. Suicide is ever present here.
I don?t take any sleeping tablets. At 10 p.m. I am tired and fall asleep straight away. But, not without fear, as I know what awaits me; without fail, my mind uses the first few hours sleep to remove itself from the cell. I am free and this imprisonment, the barred window and the never changing wall by my bed ? all this is just a dream. Then there is the rude awakening. Every night. Without fail.
I wake up at around 3 a.m., every time I feel relief that the endless imprisonment, the months of staring at a wall was only a dream. But, it?s the other way round. Every time I open my eyes at 3 a.m. and they slowly make sense of their surroundings, I realise step for step that I am still here, really here. And that?s when the full horror hits me. My mouth goes dry and my heart plummets. Now sleep is unthinkable, I get up and lay my face against the thick mesh bars and stare out at the prison yard. The walls are lit on all sides by flood lights. They make everything glare in a harsh white light that reaches into the cell as well. Between the flood lights there are cameras and watch towers. Everything here is morbid and inhumane. The tears trickle down my cheeks quietly and softly like the summer rain that I have not been allowed to feel for months. At least I am permitted the solitude to be able to cry alone, here in this cell full of prisoners.
Once again I feel the abyss so strongly, death so near. And no will to live. In these terrible walls there is no life.
I walk quietly up and down the cell, three steps to the wall and back again. I try to shake off all my thoughts and hope to find some security in the monotonous pacing, just like any desperate caged animal. I lie on the bed and stare up at the ceiling above me, as I have for the last months. The flood lights throw the ever same shadow from the barred window onto the wall. The eternal life threatening motionlessness. Will I ever be released from here? Once again, a thought that I must not allow.
The hours tick by. There is no horizon for me to look out at, only high walls. Slowly the sky changes. At 5.30 the sun appears behind the bars on my window, through the barbed wire on the high walls. I dread the morning, I dread every day in this shit hole at the end of the world.
I can look through my barred prison window onto the prison yard below. The bars are not like normal window bars. They are thick and meshed. It is just about possible to push an orange pip through the holes. As a result, it is pretty dark and grim in my cell. I am separated from all outside life, and I not talking about freedom, which is out there somewhere beyond the barbed wire topped walls. I cannot see anything of freedom; no free people, no cars, no houses, only the never changing stone walls, which have been my world for months now. I think on Rosa Luxenburg and her reports from inside her cell. Pigeons. The only free creatures that I have any contact to. Right now they are sitting on top of my window and cooing. The bars on the windows are so thickly meshed apparently because the inmates here form friendships with the pigeons and feed them. Through this thick steel mesh there?s no chance of that. The last possibility of contact to outside, closed off.
The sun comes up, stretches over the sky and goes down. What time is it? It doesn?t matter. Nothing seems to matter to me. Just months of staring at the same unstructured wall.
The total desperation at being separated from those dearest to you
I didn?t want to turn around again as the officer brought me to the car, but I heard a knocking from the bedroom window and turned once more. I saw Noah looking out of the window and waving at me. I sadly waved back and tried to push back the tears?.The officer also waved at Noah. I cannot begin to describe how infuriated and hurt I am by this hypocritical gesture.
This was the last day that I could hold and kiss the family that I so love. Over the last two months we have only seen each other every two weeks, separated by thick glass. Without any contact, no hugs, no kisses. It makes me crazy thinking about it. Two months ago nobody thought that this imprisonment could go on so long. How long do I have to be separated from my family? How long must my children have their father locked up, my wife her husband locked up? How do I know if the same unfounded accusations that apparently justify this remand custody won?t also be used to justify a verdict against me?
The fear of losing my family is making me ill!
Do the Public Prosecution and the judges have any idea of the consequences of their actions? Do they know what they are possibly destroying? My children need their father, my wife needs her partner. I need my family, I am terrified!
Please don?t forget me. Today, the second full month of imprisonment, I looked at the pictures of Karin and my children that I have been sent. Photos of the kids, of my home, when our life was still a life. Photos of my amazing wife, who I love so unbelievably much. Photos of my family at solidarity events, they are wearing t-shirts with "Free Chris". Looking at these pictures makes me weep.
I cannot cope any more, desperation and fear are eating me alive. The photos of my family at the solidarity event show me what a extremely strong person Karin is. Alone with three children in this situation. My children are also strong. How long can they keep strong in this attack. Our family, our life is being destroyed, how long can we survive? Nobody could protect my family from this state attack. Nobody knows how long I will remain in here. I am terrified of losing my family and my wife. Noah, Samuel, Talia and Karin, I love you all so much! Think of me! Don?t forget me! Stay strong and don?t give up!
? They have nearly stolen the whole summer from us. When will we be able to see each other again? Without thick glass between us, without officials listening to our every word. When can I hold you again? Kiss you? Be with you? Always!!! At home. In our world.
What is it like for people who carry the responsibility for tearing a family apart? Three children and a happy relationship in danger of being destroyed. How much longer? How much longer will thousands of tears have to fall daily on the pictures of my family? I love you so! Please stay strong! I am trying too! I miss you!....two months without hugs and kisses.
Please don?t forget me. I am thinking of you. I dream of you! - Every day. I love you!....I hope for the common sense of those responsible for this situation?..hope, I don?t believe in their common sense any more! Stay strong, help each other, I love you!
Please forward this message to as many people as possible.
Criminal Injustice System Tortures Detainees in Austria
First Detainee set FREE, but Judge again uses Coercive Detention
('Beugehaft') in Austria
Vienna, 13 August 2008
The hearings of two cases in the saga of the ten detained animal rights advocates took place today at the Appeal Court in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
The case of Dr Martin Balluch, who had repeatedly stated that if released he would continue to be an animal rights advocate, was smashed in just under 10 minutes by the presiding judge, while Christian Moser, a married artist with 3 children, was set FREE!
'Christian Moser, the Judge believes, has suffered so much under the psychological stress of the detention and separation from his family that he will in future abstain from participating in animal rights activities,' reported an observer. And this is what these ten cases apparently are all about: breaking the detainees' conscience and breaking their free will.
However Moser's case had been heard last Monday at a superior court and it was ruled, as in the previous appeal cases by the Superior Court, that Chris should remain in prison awaiting trial.
Since these two rulings now collude, the public prosecutor immediately appealed against the today's release order and it is therefore feared that Mr Moser could be brought back to prison in about two weeks' time if the Austrian government does not step in to put an end to these unbelievable atrocities. Parliament in the form of its grand coalition is already dissolved and new presidential and governmental elections will take place on 28 September, but the game of the criminal justice system in Austria is expected to continue.
The total confusion of the justice system in Austria is obvious, since judges can easily get away with such outrageous and criminal coercive detention decisions such as in the case of Dr Balluch today, whilst Justice Minister Dr Maria Berger is clearly absolutely incompetent to end this farce. Berger is such a coward that she even refused to meet the concerned parents of the detainees.
Eminent persons of public life, politicians and scientists from around the globe and even celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot have sent urgent appeals to Justice Minister Berger and the Austrian government, none of which have so far received a response in the form of the only appropriate action, which is to set all detainees free and grant them a fair and public trial.
Two Animal Rights Prisoners in Court Revision
Vienna, 12 August 2008
The cases of two of the ten animal rights advocates detained for nearly three months without evidence of any wrongdoing will be reviewed at a superior court hearing in Vienna tomorrow.
The legal defence counsels of the ten detainees follow different legal strategies, with some opting to challenge their detention and confirming court rulings through constitutional appeals to the Highest Court of Austria and others presenting arguments to challenge the court rulings direct on other legal grounds through a superior court.
Two of the detainees, who are challenging the previous court rulings, will have their hearing tomorrow and it is hoped that finally justice will prevail and that they will be set free.
Letter from Brigitte Bardot: