International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners Saturday, July 25, 2015

[Source : NYC ANTIFA | See also : antifascistactionsydney]

free all antifa prisoners

International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Antifascists fight against those who—in the government or in the streets—dream of imposing their fascist and other Far Right nationalist nightmares on the rest of us. Throughout the world, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and racist bigotries are on the rise. Antifas are on the frontline in confronting these reactionary politics, and we will not forget our comrades imprisoned in the course of this struggle.

The July 25 International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners originated in 2014 as a Day of Solidarity with Jock Palfreeman, an Australian who is imprisoned in Bulgaria for defending two Romani men from an attack by fascist football hooligans. Groups around the world took action: holding demonstrations, benefits supporting the Bulgarian Prisoners Association, writing to Jock, and talking about the plight of the Romani and Sinti people in general.

In 2015 we would like to expand this day of solidarity to all antifascist prisoners around the world. We encourage groups to take the day to plan an event of their choice—whether it is a letter writing, demonstration, benefit, or other action—and to focus on the prisoners and related issues that are of most importance to them locally.

Below is a list of global antifascist prisoners; if there is an antifa prisoner who is missing, please e-mail us with his or her details and the language(s) they can read.

No Pasaran!
Until All Are Free!

Send prisoner updates, announcements for local events, and additional group endorsements to [email protected].

LIST OF ENDORSING GROUPS:

EVENTS:
TBA

LIST OF ANTIFA PRISONERS:

EUROPE

Belarus
Roman Bogdan

Roman Bogdan was arrested on April 15, 2015, as part of the long-going state repression of anti-fascists in Brest, stemming from a fight between anti-fascists and fascists on May 8, 2013. Roman is facing up to fifteen years in prison on charges of group hooliganism and weapons charges.

He can read Russian and simple English phrases.

Address:
Roman Bogdan
224030
Brest
ul. K. Marksa, 86,
SIZO-7
BELARUS

Dzmitry Stsyashenka

Dzmitry Stsyashenka was arrested on October 4, 2013, for his alleged involvement in a fight between antifascists and neo-Nazis in Brest on May 8, 2013, that sent one Nazi to the hospital. He is also accused of another fight with neo-Nazis during the summer of 2013. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but in 2014 his term was reduced by one year due to an amnesty.

He can read Russian and simple English phrases.

Address:
Dzmitry Stsyashenka
224030
Brest,
ul. K. Marksa, 86,
SIZO-7
BELARUS

http://abc-belarus.org/?cat=3&lang=en

Dzmitry Zvan’ko

Dzmitry Zvan’ko was arrested for his alleged involvement in a fight between anti-fascists and neo-Nazis in Brest on May 8, 2013, that sent one Nazi to the hospital. He was arrested the next day, along with four other people, in a police raid on the homes of known anti-fascists. Dzmitry filed a complaint to the prosecutor about psychological and physical abuse while in custody. He was accused of malicious group hooliganism and serious bodily assault and faced up to ten years of prison. Dzmitry was found guilty and sentenced to five years of prison, but after paying off about 4,000 euro in damages he was granted amnesty, which has reduced his term by one year.

He can read Russian and simple English phrases.

Address:
Dzmitry Zvan’ko
225295
Brestskaya oblast Ivatsevichi
p/b 20 IK-22
Volchi Nory
BELARUS

http://abc-belarus.org/?cat=3&lang=en

Bulgaria
Jock Palfreeman

Jock Palfreeman is an Australian anti-fascist political prisoner serving a twenty-year prison sentence in Bulgaria for the rather mysterious death of a neo-Nazi football hooligan who was part of a group attacking two Romani men in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2007. Jock came to the aid of the Romani, and quickly found himself the focus of the attack. Bulgarian authorities did everything they could to ensure that Jock did not receive a fair trial, and after his sentencing have refused–in contravention of their own treaties–to transfer him to Australia to serve the rest of his time closer to his family. Jock wants donations for him sent to the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association, which he is part of.

He can read English and Bulgarian.

Address:
Jock Palfreeman
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
Sofia 1309, BULGARIA

www.freejock.com
http://www.brightonabc.org.uk/jock.html

Russia
Aleksandr Kolchenko

Aleksandr  Kolchenko was arrested in Crimea on May 17, 2014, along with several others, and accused by Russian authorities of participation in a “terrorist group” which planned explosions near the Eternal Fire memorial and the Lenin monument in Simferopol, as well as having sabotaged railway tracks and electricity lines. Aleksandr is also alleged to have carried out two arson attacks in April: against the headquarters of the Russian Unity-Party, and the Russian Community of Crimea. He was transferred to Moscow and is being kept in draconian conditions. His lawyers are under a gag order, and have been refused elementary rights to defend him. He faces fifteen-to-twenty years in a labor camp.

Russian authorities claim that Aleksandr is a member of Right Sektor, a Ukrainian ultra-right nationalist organization, but he has no connection to the group—a fact confirmed by relatives and friends. Moreover, Aleksandr is an antifascist and anarchist who consistently opposed nationalistic movements in Crimea and faced constant fascist attacks for his activism. For example, after a film screening about murdered anti-fascist journalist Anastasiya Baburova, he was attacked by thirty Nazis with knives.

Since this case is highly political, Aleksandr’s legal costs are high, around 850 euro per month. The investigation has created a heavy financial strain on local ABC groups, and there is a call for financial support and information distribution. You can make donations via PayPal to [email protected]riseup.net or using a bank account (write to the same e-mail address for details).

Address:
Kolchenko Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, (born 1989),
Lefortovskiy val, 5, p/b 201
111020 Moscow
RUSSIA

Please note: Moscow ABC advises that letters in English are seldom accepted in Russian prisons, so please write only in Russian (try using a translation program), or just send photos and postcards.

http://avtonom.org/en/news/repressions-against-crimean-activists-political-context
http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Aleksandr_Kolchenko

Alexey Sutuga

Alexey Sutuga is a longtime anarchist and anti-fascist who was arrested in April 5, 2014, for a fight with members of the ultra right in Moscow. He was sentenced on September 30, 2014, to three years and one month in prison for his alleged involvement in the fight.

However, this sentence comes in the context of an earlier case from April 2012, when he was arrested for allegedly taking part in a fight at a punk/hardcore concert in Moscow on December 17, 2011. The conflict began after club security, consisting of members of the far right, provoked guests. The concert was stopped prematurely because of the fight, but the security then attempted to take some of the audience hostage and threatened to call their nationalist football hooligan friends in reprisal. The audience members resisted and the club security opened fire with rubber coated metal bullets. However, the club security was neutralized and sent to the hospital. The case against Alexey and several others was eventually dropped in January 2014 on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics as part of the amnesty bill, approved as a PR stunt on initiative of Vladimir Putin.

Address:
Earlier this year, Alexey was in transit to a prison in Irkutsk, Siberia.
We are waiting to confirm his new address.

Please note: Moscow ABC advises that letters in English are seldom accepted in Russian prisons, so please write only in Russian (try using a translation program), or just send photos and postcards.

http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Alexey_Sutuga

Sweden
Joel Almgren

Joel Almgren was sentenced to five years and six months for defending a local community-organized anti-racist demonstration in Stockholm against a brutal Nazi attack on December 15, 2013. The peaceful protest—against fascist assaults on local anti-racists and the dissemination of Nazi propaganda in area schools—was attacked with knives, sticks, and glass bottles by the most militant Nazi group in Sweden. Anti-fascists at the scene defended the demonstration from the attack and many were injured themselves.

He can read Swedish and English.

Address:
Joel Almgren
KVA Tidaholm
Skogsholmvägen
522 85 Tidaholm
SWEDEN

https://www.facebook.com/freejoel

Linus Soinjoki

Linus Soinjoki was charged and convicted for actions related to his involvement in the anti-fascist movement in Sweden. He was sentenced to fourteen months in prison and has large financial obligations relating to his trial.

Linus can read Swedish and English.

Address:
Linus began serving his sentence in mid-May 2015, and is moving around the prison system. We will post his address when it becomes available.

http://heyevent.com/event/keiajdw7gqvtga/free-linus-break-down-the-walls

NORTH AMERICA

United States
Luke O’Donovan

On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Luke O’Donovan attended a house party in Reynoldstown, a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. Luke was seen dancing with and kissing other men at the party. Later in the night he was insulted with homophobic slurs, and attacked by several people at once. Luke unsuccessfully attempted to escape, at which point several witnesses reported watching between five and twelve men ganging-up on Luke and stomping on his head and body, evidently with the intent to kill him. He was called a faggot before and during the attack, throughout the course of which he and five others were stabbed. Luke was subsequently imprisoned and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder.

Luke’s trial concluded on August 12, 2014, when he accepted a negotiated plea deal. He agreed to a two year sentence beginning that day, and then eight years of harsh probation. The judge  also banished Luke from the state of Georgia for the term of his probation.

He can read English.

Address:
Luke Patrick O’Donovan
#1001372271
Washington State Prison
P.O. Box 206
Davisboro, GA 31018
USA

https://letlukego.wordpress.com/

Jason Hammond

Jason Hammond accepted a non-cooperating guilty plea and was sentenced to forty-one months on January 2015 for his part in an organized direct action taken against a group of white supremacists.

In 2012, a group of racists and white supremacists organized a White Nationalist Economic Summit in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. Groups of anti-fascists and anti-racists from the Midwest confronted the meeting and successfully shut down the event through a righteous melee. In the aftermath, five antifascists were arrested, and dubbed the Tinley Park 5. The five were sentenced to upwards of three years and all have since been released. Jason was arrested later, and is the last person still in jail for this action.

He can read English.

Address:
Jason Hammond, M50190
P.O. Box 500
Vandalia, IL 62471
USA

http://freejasonhammond.blogspot.com/
https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0w0Ma/ab/94SfS3

antifa notes (july 21, 2014) : protest and counter-protest, ADE, SYD …

Update (July 29, 2014) : Sadly, Patriots in Adelaide failed to turn up (their clown car broke down); antifascists had a nice picnic and a kick of the footy instead. In Sydney, half-a-dozen or so bozos belonging to Nicholas Hunter Folkes’ support group — a/k/a the Party for Freedom — rocked up outside Woolworths only to be confronted by 10 times as many counter-protesters, promptly lost a number of their placards and leaflets and went home with their tail between their collective legs. Later, an Australia First Party meeting (“Boo international students!”) was picketed and police detained an antifascist after rescuing a suspected neo-Nazi from the crowd. See : A Day of Anti-Racist Anarchy with Antifa, Nelson Groom, Vice, July 29, 2014.

Looks like it’ll be a busy weekend …

ADELAIDE

In Adelaide on Sunday, July 27 the Adelaide franchise of the Patriots Defence League (a splinter of the Australian Defence League) is planning on holding a BBQ at Bonython Park/Tulya Wodli. Joining the Patriots will be some anti-fascists:

Racists are organising a recruitment BBQ to create a network of fascists in SA. We’re organising a counter-meeting on the same day where people who are motivated by inclusiveness and compassion can meet, share food, listen to music and participate in a group discussion on how to tackle issues relating to racial division in SA. Bring friends and confront hatred with humanity.

MELBOURNE

On the same day in Melbourne the Melbourne Anarchist Club is holding a benefit gig for imprisoned anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman. Kick-off is 3pm, entry is $10 and all proceeds are going to the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association. See also : Continued Assaults on Asylum Seekers in Sofia Central Prison (July 21, 2014) | Free Jock Palfreeman : July 2014 Update (July 4, 2014).

SYDNEY

In Sydney, RASH Sydney has organised a counter-protest in Marrickville.

Racist scum are trying to intimidate & drive out religious minorities from Marrickville, while promoting white nationalism.

They have decided to target the Marrickville Woolworths (for the grievous crime of wishing its customers ‘Happy Ramadan’) on the 26th July at 11am.

We are standing up against these hateful people to let them know their views are not welcome.

The Patriots Defence League are a newly formed group of people targeting religious freedom & culture. They see themselves as a patriotic, nationalist street movement that are ‘defending our beautiful way of life’. They do this by openly expressing their hatred of all other races and cultures.

This is not about expressing freedom of speech, it’s about causing fear & division. That’s why it must be opposed. They are targeting a religious minority, in exactly the same way Jewish people were targeted in the last century. We oppose this because unless you’re white, straight & Protestant-Christian, you’ll be next …

The ‘Boo Woolworths!’ Patriots will also be joined by the dregs in the Party for Freedom. Note that Martin Fletcher, the Vice Chairman of the Party for Freedom (a splinter from the Australian Protectionist Party, which was in turn a splinter from the Australia First Party), first came to the attention of anti-fascists when he began publishing Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda on his website, ‘Downunder Newslinks’.

Continued Assaults on Asylum Seekers in Sofia Central Prison

[Below is an account by Jock Palfreeman of recent assaults by Sofia prison guards on imprisoned asylum seekers and others. On July 25 NYC ABC is holding a meeting to discuss Jock’s case; on July 27 MAC is holding a benefit gig to raise funds for the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association (of which Jock is Chairman).]

bpra

On the 6/7/14 at 8.30am the guard Peter Petrov performed the morning roll call, he entered Cell 11 and started shouting in Bulgarian, a language no one present understood. As the roll call finished for that cell he then started to assault a mentally ill man from behind as he was not moving fast enough. The mentally ill man is about 45kgs, about 55 years old and a citizen of Comoros. He then retaliated and slapped the guard back after the guard Peter Petrov hit him and kicked him again, the guard came at the Comoros Islander again and the African took a chair to keep the guard away from him. Three other guards came and only saw the Comoros islander with the chair and so they beat him too. Peter Petrov then ran out of the cell, locked all the cell doors and called for “assistance”. Forty guards came from two work shifts, from the Saturday evening shift and the incoming Sunday day shift (as now shifts are 12 hours). The forty guards summarily beat everyone in the cell – the man from Comoros, four Afghanis, one Pakistani, one Dutch man and an Algerian. They were not resisting in any way and most of the wounds inflicted by the guards are on their backs as they tried to cover their faces on the ground. All of these victims are incarcerated for illegal border crossing: they are all asylum seekers.

The man from Comoros was most badly beaten, with a cut face, bleeding eye, bleeding nose, cut lips and swollen and cuts and swelling to his head. All over his body was covered in welts from the batons. The Pakistani too had welts and pink bruises as did the others in perfect shapes of batons; the Pakistani received a cut head and several of the Afghanis, apart from the welts on their backs and forearms, had black and bleeding eyes. The seven men were beaten with batons, boots; they were stomped, hit and hit into walls and the ground.

The beating continued for about 20-30 minutes. The guards then indiscriminately started to break furniture used by prisoners for playing cards in the corridor.

After the bulk of the guards left, the guards called the prisoners Hisham Karmo and Budimir Kjovic, a Syrian national and a Serbian national. Together with the guards they wrote witness statements or “explanations” for the victims and intimidated the victims to sign the statements. The victims were told if they complained they would get extra prison sentences and that the guards would beat them again.

In these “witness statements” written by Hisham and Budimir, it states that the Comoros man attacked the guard unprovoked and the guard had to defend himself. A deal was struck between Hisham and Budimir and the guard Peter Petrov and the rest of the guards that this would be the official version that Hisham and Budimir would testify to but also help maintain through intimidation of victims.

Only the man from Comoros was allowed to see a doctor. As the official version of events did not include the other seven victims as having been assaulted they were not permitted to see a doctor for the entirety of Sunday. At 8.30pm the guards changed shifts and again the new guards would not allow the other 6 victims to see the duty doctor. On the same day as the assault the victims came to me (Jock Palfreeman) as the chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association and as a known human rights activist and asked me for help. I immediately called the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to inform their chairman Krassimir Kanev of the assault and he supplied valuable legal advice as to how to proceed.

With prisoners acting as translators the victims wrote real statements testifying the details of the assault free of intimidation by the prison’s auxiliary bullies. We brought many prisoners together and discussed how to proceed. Many prisoners supported the victims and we promised to support the victims if any prisoner working for the prison administration tried to intimidate them or use physical violence to silence them.

On 7/7/14 (the next day) members of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee came to meet with the victims. They took their statements and conveyed an official complaint to the prosecutor’s office. The members of the Helsinki Committee then personally escorted the victims to the prison infirmary and supervised as medical injury reports were written, although copies of said medical reports were not made or given to the victims or their representatives.

The evening of the 7/7/14 the guard Peter Petrov was returned to work in 10th and continued his attempt to intimidate me, Jock Palfreeman, as he had been informed of my complaint against him the previous Wednesday (on 2/7/14), after he assaulted me by kicking me with his boots, hitting me with a large metal key, pushing and pulling me in an attempt to provoke physical confrontation. However I did not react as the man from Comoros did; had I, I would have suffered the same fate as the other victims. I realised that this guard is highly violent and dangerous.

Whether it was his character or he was a racist or he was drunk or on drugs no one could say but I realised after he assaulted me on two separate occasions that the assaults would continue and only get worse. So on the 3/7/14 I sent a complaint to the Director of the prison Peter Krester and a request to have this violent and dangerous guard moved from our block.

No measures were taken and the guard Peter Petrov four days later subsequently attacked the man from Comoros and instigated the mass assault on the other seven victims.

I, Jock Palfreeman, have now again become a target of Peter Petrov, the guard and as of the date of writing this, 9/7/14, the prison authorities have failed to take any measures to prevent the guards from assaulting prisoners or to protect me or the other 8 victims.

The assault on the 8 men was extremely vicious and so I started the explanations from that point as opposed to the first assaults upon myself.

PS.

On the 10/7/14 (Thursday), the guard Peter Petrov was moved to a different part of the prison.

On the 14/7/14 representatives from the Ombudsman’s office entered the prison to conduct an investigation into the mass assault, they met with the victims and witnesses and briefly with myself.

On the 16/7/14 the vice-minister of justice, responsible specifically for the running of prisons, met with the victims of the mass assault (although there are concerns about the vice-minister’s personal connections with Budimir Kjovic, who was also called to the meeting as a friend of the vice-minister of justice).

On the 17/7/14 the state prosecutor met with the victims to collect their statements from them personally.

The continued pressure and intimidation from the prisoners Budimir Kjovic and Hisham Karmo upon the victims to give false testimonies is a continuing concern, not to mention their attempt to also intimidate me into not showing solidarity to the victims. It’s just another example of mafia criminals working with the state apparatus of oppression. The prison allows these bullies to continue their drug businesses within the prison, the prison staff take a cut and in exchange it is in their interest to protect the prison administration and guards as they provide the protection for their business.

Earlier this year a director Yosofifov, director of work and pay of Sofia Central Prison, was arrested along with the friend of Budimir Kjovic for trafficking contraband into the prison. Earlier this month the director Yosofifov was formally fired for violating the ethics code.

There can never be any compromise with violators of human rights and mafia!

When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty!

~ Jock Palfreeman
Chairman, Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association

Free Jock Palfreeman : July 2014 Update

Update (July 10, 2014) :

Source : Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

In a few weeks time there will be a series of actions in support of imprisoned Australian Jock Palfreeman. Jock is currently serving a 20-year sentence in Bulgaria for murder and attempted murder. For more details on Jock’s case, please see the Free Jock website and Every Parent’s Nightmare, the site dedicated to ABC journalist Belinda Hawkins’ book about Jock. See also : Australian Activist Jock Palfreeman Is Taking On Bulgaria’s Prison System From the Inside, Danica Radisic, Global Voices, July 3, 2014.

jockpalfreeman

In the Netherlands (Amsterdam): Anti Fascist Action have organised a benefit gig for July 16.

In the United States: A DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH ANTIFASCIST PRISONER JOCK PALFREEMAN- JULY 25TH.

In Australia (Melbourne): a benefit gig is being organised for Sunday, July 27.

You can write to Jock at:

Jock Palfreeman
Sofia Central Prison
21 General Stoletov Boulevard
Sofia 1309
BULGARIA