• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Refugee lives in a tree after camp torn down

J. Arthur White · 14 Apr 2014, 15:25

Published: 14 Apr 2014 15:25 GMT+02:00

The hunger strikers on Kreuzberg’s Oranienplatz, who come from Iran, Ghana, Uganda and Turkey, are staying on a tarpaulin on the north side of the square and are now in their sixth day without solid food. They told The Local they were undeterred by rain, cold or the heavy police presence around them.

Some claimed they will face death or long prison sentences in their home and are demanding the right to stay and work in Germany.

The strike began in support of Sudanese refugee Napuli Langa, who climbed into a tree while the camp was being dismantled last week.

She remained there, surrounded by metal fences and police, until Berlin's Integration Senator Dilek Kolat (SPD) agreed to allow protesters to expand their info point on the square and build a tent for public assemblies.

Napuli returned home on Sunday, but the other activists say they will continue their hunger strike until two other demands are met.

They are asking the government to approve their asylum applications and the city to recognize the nearby Gerhart-Hauptmann school as a political centre for refugees.

Turgay Ulu, an anti-capitalist journalist and author from Turkey, is one of the strikers. He fled his country after he was charged with “terrorism”.

Now he spends day and night wrapped up in a blanket on the square, drinking juice, reading newspapers and chatting with supporters.

"We are on the street. It is cold overnight and sometimes it rains. That is difficult. I have a bit of a headache and I'm a bit tired but it's going OK," he told The Local.

He said the protesters will stay "until their demands are met," but admits that the group will have to discuss matters if the strike goes on for several weeks.

There are some signs for optimism. As part of the deal that convinced Napuli to come down from the tree, city officials agreed to further negotiations with the protesters, Turgay said.

Abby Damulira, who said he left Uganda after he faced prison for a protest he helped organize, is also participating in the strike.

Story continues below…

"We hope that people will feel for us, because it is not an easy thing to be in such a situation. But we have no option," Abby told The Local.

He said his asylum application has been repeatedly denied and he is facing deportation back to Uganda.

Abby said he was afraid of what awaits him if he goes back to Uganda.

SEE ALSO: 'Germany must say yes to more immigrants'

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

J. Arthur White (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin puts spies on tighter leash after NSA scandal
An installation of the BND in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Germany on Tuesday approved new measures to rein in the activities of its foreign intelligence agency after a scandal over improper collusion with the US National Security Agency.

Brexit vote
There's no way back for Britain, says 'sad' Merkel
Angela Merkel (r) and David Cameron in Brussels. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the EU summit in Brussels late on Tuesday that she didn't see any way that the British decision to leave the EU could be reversed.

Brexit vote
British business owner in Germany: why I support Brexit
Alexander McWhinney, owner of The English Shops. Photo: Private.

Scottish business owner Alexander McWhinney tells The Local why he supported the vote for a Brexit despite being an expat - much to the surprise of employees at his stores in the Rhineland.

Germany seeks seat on UN security council
The United Nations Security Council. Photo: DPA

Berlin last had a seat at the highest table of international security in 2011-12. Now the Foreign Minister has announced that Germany wants the role again.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Britain can’t cherry-pick Brexit terms
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the EU could survive a Brexit and warned Britain the union would not tolerate "cherry-picking" in upcoming negotiations on their future relations.

This film makes Darmstadt look more romantic than Paris
The Russian Orthodox Church in Darmstadt. Source: City, Light and Movement.

Not quite sure where Darmstadt is? A short film shot by a Syrian refugee will have you rushing to locate it on a map.

VW agrees to $14.7 bn payout in US emissions probe
Photo: DPA

Volkswagen has agreed to pay out $14.7 billion in a settlement with US authorities and car owners in the probe over its emissions-cheating diesel-powered cars, court documents showed Tuesday.

Brexit vote
Left leader calls for German referendum on EU deals
Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht. Photo: DPA.

The left-wing leader of the official opposition party in Germany said that it’s time the German people also have a say on what goes on in Brussels.

Teacher overpaid quarter of a million euros. No one notices
Photo: DPA

The Düsseldorf teacher was paid a full-time salary for six years, despite only working part time.

Euro 2016
Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation
Distraught England players after Iceland defeat. photo: DPA

Still upset by their British brothers voting for Brexit, Germans expressed an overwhelming sense of Schadenfreude at England's Euro 2016 exit.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
7,865
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd