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Justice for Rita!

Newsletter #17

Having to live in isolation in the lagers, we as refugee women* are exposed to all kinds of sexual harassment and violence from men both inside and outside the Lagers. It is a pity that, we, Women in Exile after concentrating our fights on the campaign “No Lager for Women and Children! Abolish all Lagers!” and encouraging refugee women to report sexual related violent cases to the authorities including rape; we have in addition to all that a murder of one of us, namely “RITA”!!

The violence comes from fellow refugees, security personnel and German citizens living in the surrounding areas. Before her murder, Rita lived in the Hohenleipisch camp for more than 7 years, this is one of the camps which is situated in the middle of nowhere and for many years has been a focus of many demonstration from us and other activists in Brandenburg asking for its closure. The location of the camp meant Rita`s murderer did not have to go far to dispose her body. This why we demand answers on:

-how did she disappear from her room in the camp, leaving her kids behind?

-who murdered Rita?

-why did it take the police more than two months to find her remains a few metres from the camp, even when all evidence pointed to looking for a corpse?

-We need to know why the camp manager and security could not give an account of Ritas movement, though some of us having been to this camp or living in it, know that to enter or exit you have to pass in front of their offices.

Violence against women*, abuse, harassment are a global phenomenon in this sexist and racist world. In Germany we have seen police shooting innocent black women for example in the cases of N’deye Mareame Sarr and Christy Schwundeck. And many other cases where it would have been easy just to arrest them and charging them in a court of law instead of
shooting them down. This is why we can`t help imagining, what if these women and also Rita would have been white women?

Many more women are living in camps all over Germany experiencing depressions and traumas due to the living conditions and threat of deportations. The authorities are supporting the lager industry which is making profits of people misery.

We have often been confronted with the question from well minded people in the society, asking where the refugees would live as there are also many German nationals who do not have apartment. The answer to this would be the authorities should use all the money they are investing in the lager system and making a few people rich and putting it into building
affordable housing for all.

For RITA it might be too late but for the others still living in these camps, it could make a difference. Therefore we keep on demanding:

Justice for Rita!

No Lager for Women and Children! Abolish all Lagers!

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