Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, June 2, 2008

Austrian Animal Activist on Hunger Strike

Dr Martin Balluch, the President of the Austrian Association Against Animal Factories, has been on hunger strike after being arrested by Austrian authorities.
Ten Austrian animal rights campaigners have been held for two weeks without charge after draconian raids on the 21st May. One has been on hunger strike since then and is becoming very weak. We urgently need international support to exert pressure on the Austrian authorities and media, who are painting the prisoners as terrorists without having produced any evidence.

Twenty-four homes and offices were raided by the elite WEGA police force, guns were held to suspects' heads. Lawyers for the ten detained activists have not been given full access to the prosecution papers and no clear charge has yet been pressed. Other human rights violations have included forcibly taking DNA samples and restriction of visiting hours.

Here is part of Dr. Balluch's statement.
I have been in prison for 7 days. No charges have been made against me.

As a result of this human rights violation, I have embarked on a hunger strike while being on remand. I have not eaten since Tuesday May 20th, 2008. My condition is deteriorating.

On May 21st, 2008, a group of men in black masks demolished the door of my house early in the morning and stormed into my bedroom. They held a gun against my head while I was still in bed and forced me to get up naked. My brother, who was sleeping next door, was ordered to raise his arms. A gun was pressed against the back of his head. For the next six hours, the men raided my house. They confiscated computers, books and writings. I have been on remand ever since.

I am on a hunger strike because nobody has informed me why I have been arrested and held in custody. After many days without food I feel very weak and dizzy. But, I still have confidence in the rule of law in this country; that we here in Austria cannot be treated in this way without good reason. And that’s why I will continue on hunger strike until I am either given a reason or released.

No comments:

blog stats