More than 100 people marched on wednesday from the upper franconia reception center (AEO) in the east of bamberg to maxplatz to protest against what they see as inhumane conditions at the AEO. In front of the town hall, they got mayor andreas stark (SPD) to listen to their demands. "Even if the city is not the right contact, it must still have an open ear for the concerns", OB explained. He said he wanted to get the residents' list of demands and go over it with the AEO director to find out if the complaints were true and if any remedial action needed to be taken.
Among the mostly african refugees in the demo train were also women with small children. The 37-year-old david also wore a red ribbon, which showed who belonged to the demo and also expressed the problems of the refugees. "We suffer in the AEO", the nigerian made clear. The suffering must be so great that the residents decided to hold the demonstration.
This was organized primarily by the refugees, they were supported in their protest by leftist groups. A major problem for the residents: they were not allowed to work. This is what happens to people whose applications for asylum have been rejected. That's why residents from senegal, ghana and even eritrea have gone to the streets. Like hayeleselase, who had already left germany. But when the eritrean came to france, he was brought back to germany because of the dublin agreement and finally landed in bamberg two months ago. He does not know what will happen next.
In the smallest of spaces
the conditions at the AEO were terrible. Not only the eritrean compares it to a prison: he lives with twelve people in an apartment with only one toilet. The police often came at night, often not knowing what was happening. He is not allowed to work, gets no money, the children no schooling. Even an identity card is not granted to the residents. There was also a lack of good medical care and security for the women. "We have had enough of this camp. We can't go on living like this", says a position paper of the demonstrators.
These things had to be granted to asylum seekers despite rejection, the demonstrators think. "We have fled from persecution, torture, poverty and war! We will not go back! We will fight for the right to live – and for the right to be treated like human beings." this was not the case at the reception center in bamberg.
"in the AEO the treatment of the people, the accommodation and care is humane", on the other hand, jakob daubner, spokesman for the government of upper franconia, commented on the accusations. Thus the inhabitants are neither isolated nor socially excluded. The quality of housing in the former U.S. Barracks is also above average. "When allocating the individual apartments, the facility management pays attention to homogeneity in order to avoid tension. Families stay together."
Every single resident receives the same treatment and has access to the services offered by the government in the institution "from the daily medical consultation to education". Even rejected asylum seekers were allowed to attend german courses if they did not come from safe countries of origin. If residents are obliged to leave the country, however, the asylum seekers' benefits act stipulates that they are only allowed to receive benefits in kind instead of cash. Daubner also rejected accusations of alleged harassment by security. The employees have all been checked. "All employees are obliged to treat residents as well as colleagues in a friendly manner."
The bamberg police regulated traffic, which was restricted for a short time. The demonstration was generally peaceful.