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Prison Sentence for Residence Obligation Law

Appeal goes to the European Court of Human Rights

SunnySunny Omwenyeke, human rights activist from Nigeria and activist of the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants from Bremen has to go to prison because of violating the residence obligation law. You can support him with solidarity letters.

The whole case began in 2000 when the foreigner’s office in Wolfsburg refused him a permission to attend a refugee and migrant congress in Jena of which he was central to the preparation. The recognised political refugee could not accept this arbitrary political sensure and went to Jena nevertheless. On the way the police controlled his passport. Consequently, he was fined but refused to pay as result of the dscriminating character of the residence obligation law. Rather, he and other members of The VOICE Refugee Forum and the Caravan initiated Civil Disobedience Campaign against the residenzpflicht. „We will continue to appeal against this punishment until this law is abolished“ said Omwenyeke. Since then there has been series of cases in the local court against the residence law. In the case of Omwenyeke, who meanwhile is studying International Relations at the International University Bremen, the Bremen Public Prosecutors reopened the file which was already closed in the local court of Wolfsburg.
And this was even at a time when he was already recognised as a political refugee. After several court dates he was on the 9th of October, 2003 fined again which he appealed against.
Meanwhile the Constitutional also refused to entertain the case without giving any substantial easons-meaning all possible legal remedies in Germany has been exhausted. „Its impossible for me to pay for such a
discriminating law, it is absolutely against my conviction and principle–I’ll rather go to prison upright than bow to injustice“. No other countries in the world which calls itself democratic has such a law. „Only the pass law in former Apartheid South Africa is comparable which has luckily been abolished“ said the Caravan activist. The imprisonment order is
now issued and Omwenyeke is ready to report to the prison on Friday December, 10th.

Against this German violation of human rights, Omwenyeke with a team of International lawyers has just made an appeal against the Federal Republic
of Germany at the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.