Massive police violence during a raid in Deggendorf and Hengersberg on 14/05/18: The view of the inhabitants

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Series of massive police violence: After Ellwangen and Donauwörth, two major police operations took place in Deggendorf and Hengersberg in one week. Already on Monday, 14.05.2018 police carried out a major operation in the deportation camp in Deggendorf and the reception centre in Hengersberg.

More than 200 officers combat dress and with police dogs stormed the accommodations around three o’clock in the morning. The declared aim was to intimidate the refugees in order to avoid future solidarity of the inhabitants during deportations. In addition, ten people were to be deported: A family of two children, four men, a woman seven months pregnant and her son. The 21-year-old woman was tied up, separated from her four-year-old child by force and taken into deportation custody. Another person injured themselves for fear of deportation and had to be admitted to the district hospital. Two people were not found despite the search of the entire building. Another person stopped her deportation at the last moment at the airport.

A resident describes the situation:

“The police came with many cars, all dressed in combat gear. They acted aggressively to intimidate us. They have forcibly entered the rooms and pushed people out of the way if they were not quick enough to get out of the way.”

The partner of the pregnant woman describes her arrest as follows:

“It was me that opened the room door, the police were in full combat gear. They held my hands fixed like a criminal. Then they dragged me into the kitchen of the camp where they held me because I wanted to go back to my girlfriend. She is heavily pregnant and was still in our room with her four-year-old son. For about 50 to 60 minutes I could hear my wife screaming and wrestling with the police. Finally, she was tied up and dragged into a police car. I was only released when she was gone and then I saw that our room had been completely destroyed. It must have been a fierce fight, and she’s only 21 and highly pregnant. Of course I tried to call her, but I couldn’t contact her. Then on Tuesday she wrote me briefly on Facebook. She said she was dying, conditions were so bad. They took her son away from her, gave him to Germans, but don’t tell her where. It’s very bad for a pregnant young woman, the conditions are so hard for her.”

The inhabitants of both camps had to experience or watch massive psychological and physical police violence on their own bodies. This should prevent solidarity among the people and resistance against deportations – as in Ellwangen and Donauwörth. The re-traumatisation of refugees and minors was willfully taken into account. These events are not isolated cases. A similar raid-like operation in Ellwangen made headlines nationwide last week, and was massively criticized by refugee activists. In Deggendorf, the next operation was carried out only one day later, on 17.05.2018: Around 4:00 in the morning, the inhabitants the camp were pulled out of their sleep for the second time in one week in the early morning by a massive police operation.