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june 2000 

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 space."

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!