Demonstrate courage, intervene!
You may feel helpless if you see on board a plane a person
fettered on hand and foot, accompanied by civilian police officers.
You think there is nothing you can do to prevent the forced
deportation. You're mistaken! With the closing of the doors of the
airplane, BGS - officers loose their special rights as police and
become normal passengers! The flight power is incumbent upon the
pilot alone. It is they who are responsible for the security of the
passengers and the decision to take off. The captain will be sued
whenever a passenger gets hurt or dies, which is a good enough reason
to reject the transport of passengers who fly against their will.
According to the 1964 Tokyo Agreement, exceptional cases give members
of the air-crew and passengers the right to take adequate measures in
order to prevent an act of offence being committed even without being
authorized by the pilot. It is a passenger's duty to assist when
observing cases in which the life or health of a co-passenger is
threatened. Refusing to watch means failure to give assistance.
Whoever intervenes acts according to the law and should not fear
legal prosecution for offering resistance against officers. This is
also the legal opinion of police unionist Jörg Radeck: Theoretically,
it is the passengers duty to intervene against the police officers in
case of compulsory measures since they are acting in a legally immune
On May 29th 1999, the Frankfurter Rundschau reports: "Angry
passengers on a Swiss Air flight to Kinshasa liberated a fettered
asylum seeker and attacked the Swiss police officers who accompanied
him. After the incident, the 23-year-old Congolese was brought back
to Switzerland and set free because the Abschiebehaft (imprisonment
before expulsion from the country you're seeking asylum in) had
expired..." On March 10th 1998, a Kurd's friend managed to get hold
of a ticket for the flight the former was going to be deported on
from Köln/Bonn airport. On board the airplane both did not follow the
order to sit down and fasten their seatbelts but remained standing
until they were taken out of the plane by the police. Months later
the administration court granted the Kurd Abschiebeschutz (protection
against being deported).
In case you become witness of a deportation,
do intervene! Protest loudly! Do not follow the order to sit down!
Refuse the order to fasten your seatbelt! Urge the airline crew to
prevent this deportation! Refer to the violation of human rights!
Urge the captain to prevent the carrying out of the deportation!
Threaten the airline with a boycott! Tell the public what you have
seen and send protest letters to the Lufthansa administration office!