German Police Censor Politics on the Net

Please distribute this widely. It was found on
            Pressrelease SPG: about the digital Radikal
            11 Sep 1996 19:07:30 GMT
            XS4ALL, networking for the masses

Pressrelease Solidariteitsgroep Politieke Gevangenen (SPG)-
(Solidaritygroup Political Prisoners) Amsterdam, September 9th , 1996.

German Prosecution starts investigation into the digital Radikal.

On monday the 2nd of september the BRD State Prosecution started an
official investigation against 'unknown distributors' of the
Radikal-magazine on the Internet. These 'unknown distributors' are
suspected of violating the German law:

=A7 129a Abs. 3 StGB  : Recruiting for an illegal terrorist
organisation, =A7 140 Nr. 2 StGB    : Approval of criminal
offences,=20 =A7 130a Abs. 1 StGB  : Calling for criminal acts.

The digital version of the Radikal is accessible through computers in
the Netherlands and the United States.

Besides this legal investigation, the German BAW (prosecution office)
has ordered German Internet Providers to block the access to the
digital version of the Radikal. A number of providers and associations
of providers has given in to this call.  This means that all websites
of XS4ALL-clients in the Netherlands and of DataRealm-clients in the
USA. have been made inaccessible for German Internet users. In
reaction to this German attempt to censor the Internet mirrorsites
(identical copies) of the Radikal have been put on various computers
throughout the world.=20

Since December 1995 we, the Solidaritygroup Political Prisoners, have
added the full edition of the in Germany illegal magazine Radikal to
our homepage on the World Wide Web. On this moment major parts of
number 153 and the full edition of number 154 are accessible through
the World Wide Web. We decided to do this after a renewed attempt (one
of many over the years) of the German authorities to silence the

The Radikal is a magazine made by and for the radical left movement in
the BRD. The magazine was set up in the mid '70-ies as a means of
communication between various left-wing organisations. After a series
of homesearches, arrests and long-time prison sentences, it was clear
for the makers that they couldn't continue the magazine on the same
basis. It was decided then to make the future editions of the magazine
outside the view of the German authorities.

Because the German Prosecution couldn't localise the makers of
Radikal, a short period of quietness followed in which no policeraids
etc. took place. Than trouble started anew. This time it were not the
makers of the magazine who were targeted, but the persons who sold the
magazine, bookshops and infocaf=E9's. Through the years there have
been hundreds of policeraids, numerous arrests and many people have
spent months and years in jail for 'supporting a terrorist
organisation' (i.e. distribution of the Radikal).  As a result of
these experiences the distribution of the Radikal is no longer
organised through bookshops etc., but through a underground network.

Mid June 1995 the German Prosecution stroke again. All over Germany
special units of the police stormed, often with drawn guns, a great
number of houses and left-wing centres. Four people were arrested and
charged with membership of a terrorist organisation (i.e. making and
distributing the Radikal). Four others, who were not at home at the
time of the police raid, went underground. An enormous amount of
things were confiscated by the police. It was striking that the police
especially looked for digital information. More than thousand
floppydisc's  and various computers were taken for further
research.=20 The people arrested were held in detention under remand
for six months and were only released after payment of 20.000 DM bail
p.p. and a whole set of conditions they had to comply with.=20

Exactly one year after the raids on June 13 1996, three of the four
persons in hiding (Uli, Jutta and Frank) turned themselves in.
Supported by 250 sympathisers they reported themselves at a German
court after a pressconference. (Matthes, the fourth person in hiding,
stayed away, because he is also being charged with membership of the
AIZ, the Anti Imperialist Cell's.) At the court the three persons were
taken into detention under remand after which their lawyer filed a
petition for immediate release on grounds of the fact that there was
no reason that the suspects would again run away and that after one
year there's no longer any risk that the suspects would destroy any

The petition was only partially successful. On June 15 Uli and Jutta
were released, again with a lot of conditions. They had to hand in
their passports, had to report themselves three times a week at the
police, were not allowed any contact with anybody against whom an
investigation was going on with regard to the Radikal and they had to
pay a bail of 20.000 DM each.

Frank is until now held in isolation under aggravated circumstances.
The Prosecution claims to have proof that he collaborated on the
release of Radikal editions 153 & 154 during his period in hiding. Up
till now his lawyers were not allowed look into his dossier.

 New actions against the Radical took place on June 17 this year when
 in a number of German cities again houses were searched by the
 police. This time persons suspected of having a subscription to the
 Radikal were targeted. By way of their payments they were accused of
 supporting a terrorist organisation. Besides this they were suspected
 of letting others read the Radikal  (recruiting for a terrorist
 organisation). For us this was another reason to put the latest issue
 (154) of the Radikal again on the Internet.

Despite the fact that we, the Solidaritygroup Political Prisoners
(SPG) Amsterdam, declared before that we put the Radikal on Internet,
the German Prosecution started an investigation against 'unknown
persons'.  This is a frequently used strategy. With an investigation
on name, the Prosecution can only get permission to tap the phones
etc. of a limited amount of people, while an investigation against
'persons unknown' gives them much more possibilities. With this in
mind it wouldn't surprise us if one of these days in Germany the
police will again kick in a lot of doors in relation with the
investigation against us.

The German Prosecution seems to be pretty confident at the moment and
states that from the confiscated goods, they managed to compile a lot
of information about the Radikal, her makers (m/f) and her structures.
But we wonder if they are going to be equally confident about their
actions against the digital Radikal. Censorship on the Internet
creates best-sellers. With respect to the Internet this is a very
important case. For the first time a European government tries to
censor political news on the Internet. (Until now such action was only
directed against porn on the Internet.) If the German Prosecution
succeeds in their attempts to censor the Internet, the Radikal will be
the first but definitely not the last. Fortunately there are many
people active around the theme of censorship on the Internet and
though they don't all support us ideologically, many declare
themselves to sympathise with the struggle for the continuation of the
Radikal on the Internet and accordingly place copies of the magazine
on their Websites. On this moment the Radikal is already accessible
through more than twenty addresses over the whole world. If the German
Prosecution wants to sustain their attempts to block the digital
Radikal they will have to block all these providers and will finally
block Germany from the rest of the Internet.

Read the Radikal now at:

  1.    =20

And naturally as usual at:

)From here we want to wish Frank in prison and Matthes where ever he
is lots of strength. The struggle continues !!

Please write to Frank (he will probably be replaced to Koln soon). His
temporary address is : Frank Grossinsky
 p/a Ermittlungsrichter Wolst am BGH
 76125 Karlsruhe
(All post will be read and censored by the police!)


Solidariteitsgroep Politieke Gevangenen, (SPG Amsterdam).        

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