Carrying a YPG flag is allowed. First-class acquittal for Monika Gärtner-Engel

Dec. 3, 2018 - Today the Local Court Gelsenkirchen (file number: 317 Cs–29 Js 2010/18-365/18) acquitted Monika Gärtner-Engel of the accusation of promoting a banned association.

Monika Gärtner-Engel, a moderator of the Monday demonstration in Gelsenkirchen, city councilor of AUF Gelsenkirchen and responsible person for internationalism of the MLPD, was accused because she carried a flag of the YPG, the Syrian-Kurdish people's defense units, at a Monday demonstration on Afrin solidarity in Gelsenkirchen on 20 March 2018.

Judge Büscher explained the verdict: The acquittal is based on “actual considerations”. The flag of the Syrian-Kurdish YPG is “not prohibited” in Germany. There were “no indications” for an alleged (banned) PKK reference of the assembly as claimed by the public prosecutor's office. The costs of the proceedings are to be taken over by the State Treasury.

Monika Gärtner-Engel stated: “This verdict is a signal that shows that it is worth standing up for democratic rights and freedoms. It is worth living international solidarity and showing backbone. And that will be bitterly necessary in the future, too, if you look at the situation in the world in general and Erdogan's plans in particular.” Only a few of the 80 visitors, including 20 Kurds, who came to the proceedings in solidarity had a seat. They experienced a well-founded accusing defendant and a competent defender.

In contrast to this was the embarrassing appearance of the public prosecutor's witness, Police Director Fix. The flag had been wrenched from Monika Gärtner-Engel at his request. He could not make any argument for it.

Police director Fix wanted to play down the martial appearance of the police. But the provocative action of the public prosecutor and the police was the futile attempt to criminalize and suppress international solidarity with the Kurdish liberation struggle – regardless of the tense mood, the legal situation, agreements and democratic customs”, said Frank Jasenski, defending lawyer of Monika Gärtner-Engel. “This judgment will hopefully contribute to such behavior not setting a precedent.

The charges of the accused against Police Director Fix for disturbing a registered rally is still open.

For further information contact lawyer Frank Jasenski at 0172-2107579

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