ΕΠΙΚΟΛΛΗΣΤΕ ΤΗ 1η ΔΙΕΥΘΥΝΣΗ ΣΤΟ "ΠΡΟΣ" ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣ ΑΛΛΕΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΟΙΝΟΠΟΙΗΣΗ, ΓΡΑΦΟΝΤΑΣ ΑΠΟ ΚΑΤΩ ΤΟ ΟΝΟΜΑ ΣΑΣ: (ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΠΡΟΗΓΟΥΜΕΝΟ ΘΕΜΑ)
CC: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Support the Remanded Animal Protectionists!
His Excellency Dr. Heinz Fischer
Federal President, Republic of Austria
Federal Chancellor Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer
Minister for the Interior Günther Platter
Minister for Justice Dr. Maria Berger
On the morning of 21 May 2008, in a country-wide police operation 23 premises were raided and ten animal protectionists arrested.
Both the police operation and the remand of these people are thoroughly disproportionate. Doors were rammed open and masked police units stormed into homes with their guns drawn. There followed intimidation through verbal and bodily harassment and humiliation.
As justification, the Public Prosecution cites § 278a Austrian Penal Code ("criminal organisation"), a law, which is otherwise used solely in relation to smuggling rings and Mafia groups. Proof that alleged "criminal organisation" exisits is still outstanding, as are concrete connections that the detainees supposedly have with this ominous organisation.
It is not acceptable, that a state under the rule of law remands people in custody without convincing argument, or that police confiscate computers, mobile phones, data bases and documents on the off chance. Four NGOs have been robbed of their functional existence in this manner. These are serious violations of civil rights.
Austria's animal welfare laws are considered the best in the world. This is important for Austria's international image. These progressive reforms should be held up in pride, not criminalised.
Some of the detainees are on hunger strike. I am concerned about their health. Please help.