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Criminalisation of Animal Protection in Austria

Animals  (tags: animals, human rights, animal advocates )

- 3669 days ago -
162 organisations worldwide object to this repression by the Austrian state. Yesterday international support reached a new peak. Press releases were sent out in 32 different countries

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Trudi Reijnders (242)
Friday June 27, 2008, 11:41 am
"It is important to realize that no charges were pressed against any of the accused activists, and that they are being held as political prisoners while not being accused in anything concrete," Anonymous said.
Dr Martin Baluch, chairman of the Association Against Animal Factories (VGT), described his arrest to Anonymous: "Black clad, masked officers stormed through the broken down door and ran, guns drawn, to our beds. They pointed their guns at my head and pulled me out of my bed naked. My brother was pushed onto the wall and had the gun put into his neck."
Anonymous said in a statement that the arrests "should serve as a warning sign, as the movement in Austria has had many achievements, such as banning battery hen cages, fur farms and wild animal circuses. The Austrian case is part of a growing trend in the world against organizations for animal rights and welfare, such as the American Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act from November 2006, which classifies as 'terror' any act that could cause economic damage to a business abusing animals."

Hans L (958)
Friday June 27, 2008, 12:50 pm
Trudi its all quite simple if we dont speak up now the industry will be able to do this everywhere! Austria is just the beginning! Its strange i have just posted this at the yahoo group: they can keep them in prison for 12 months!
If they have not been charged how can they commit further crimes?
The evidence to proof that anyone has commited a special crime seems
to be how can they keep them in Jail for 12 months if they
did not proof any crimes....

the named reasons for their detention, Danger of Destruction of
Evidence and Danger of Committing Further Crimes, enable the detention
to be extended for 2 months (for Danger of Destruction of Evidence) to
a year (Danger of Committing Further Crimes).

Now how strange is that no crime and no possibilty to destruct
evidence since everything was token by the police!

I cannot believe that the legal team cannot get them out....incredible!

There must be some kind of evidence just nothing they can use...

Strange...How can they do this? Just because of the terrorist threat?

Joycey B (750)
Friday June 27, 2008, 4:29 pm
I will continue to do all I can to get these innocent people free. It's just not right.

Elainna Crowell (174)
Saturday June 28, 2008, 12:52 am
This only demonstrates the decline of civil liberties taking place in the world today. It also demonstrates the corruption of political institutions in Austria in particular. I simply don't understand why The State is so frightened of people seeking to change the way we treat animals.

Hans L (958)
Saturday June 28, 2008, 3:24 am
Germany and Austria have a dark history at least we thought it was history!
Tomorrow night Germany will become the new EUROPESESE CHAMPION at the EURO 2008 in Austria playing in VIENNA! I have contacted the VGT to ask for actions planned on this historical day with thousands of working press people gathered in VIENNA! Will we see any actions from the VGT, the green Party or other people....Well if we will they have planned it realy like a criminal organisation..using encrypted mails and dark ALF lists.
For that is why they are in prison being accused of belonging to a criminial organisation called ALF! No evidence for that so far but they still kan keep them in prison for maximum one year if they fear that they will commit new crimes...but they did not commit crimes...not one single person has been accused of any single crime? HUH? WTF? Why are they in jail than....nobody is giving a answer to that question!
They have m

Hans L (958)
Saturday June 28, 2008, 11:51 am
The government in Austria is in a bad crisis and will have a meeting tomorrow that might end in new elections! You hear about the problems that the OEVP has with the fact that the socialist party will ask the people in a referendum about the EU contract if there should be a new version! Ireland has been a eye opener i guess...But this same SPOE does not speak one single word about the activists...that scandal will just continue...
Its can this happen? Martin Balluch has made a few mistakes speaking in a interview with a magazin called Wiener buts thats no reason to believe that they are belonging to a criminial organisation!

Hans L (958)
Sunday June 29, 2008, 2:32 am
Wow thank you all more than 4.000 signatures now lets spread the word!
For more info and actions go there:

This kind of letters will help to question this case!
I wanted you to see the letter I have mailed in support of the ten
arrested on false charges in Vienna. I have sent this letter to the
ten at their e-mail address and to Chancellor Gusenbauer, President
Heinz Fischer, and Ministers Platter and Berger. Because I know the
great respect the Austrian people have towards musicians, I thought
it might help to have a letter from an American musician who had
studied in Austria in support of those falsely accused. Please feel
free to use this letter as it may help in this cause. If you can get
it to people at the Austrian Socialist Party and the Green Party who
are questioning this outrage, please do. Feel free to contact me at
any time. Wishing for your success in this struggle, I am.

David Irving
Sidney, New York


June 28, 2008

An Open Letter from an American Citizen
To the Citizens of Vienna and the
Austrian Government

Freedom means constant vigilance!

I lived in Germany from December of 1953 to June of 1955 as a United
States soldier. I was a member of the famous 7th Army Symphony which
traveled all over Germany and Europe, including Austria, giving
concerts to improve American/German and American/European relations.
At that time, less than ten years after World War II, the specter of
Nazi Germany still haunted Germany in the bombed out ruins that were
to be found in every major city. The question to be answered then,
and sadly, apparently now in Vienna, was whether the spirit of Nazism
was dead or alive and to what extent Adolf Hitler still lived in the
hearts and minds of the German speaking people.

From 1957 to 1959 I studied horn at the Vienna Academy für Musik und
Darstellende Kunst with the renowned horn virtuoso Gottfried von
Freiberg. I played concerts at the Musikverein, attended the
Stadtsoper, visited the Kunsthistorisches and Albertina museums, and
enjoyed the Gemütlichkeit of the coffee houses. During this period I
became a member of the Graz Opera and Graz Philharmonic Orchestra and
lived in Graz for several months.

The question about Nazism was partially answered for me in a Gasthaus
in Vienna one evening when the owner of the establishment and her
head waiter joined an American friend, a singer, and me at our
table. After a minute or so she said "You know, it was not at all
like they say happened in Germany with the Jews. They just
needed "eine kleine Patsche" [a little pat], that's all." My German
at the time was not quite good enough to understand her words, but my
friend did.

"Yes," he said. "I saw your kleine Patsche in Dachau!"

That was the end of that conversation and of our visits to that
establishment. In Graz I heard expressions of sympathy for the Third
Reich at the cellar Gasthaus where I often went to eat or to relax.
On one occasion a man stood up, raised his arm in the Nazi salute and
yelled "Heil Hitler" to a complete stranger who was exiting up the
cellar stairs. The stranger turned and glared at the Nazi, and for a
few moments the entire Gasthaus went silent until the stranger
finally continued up the stairs, breaking the tension.

At almost the same time the United States was having its own problems
with fascistic types in the deep South in Little Rock, Arkansas where
African Americans fought bravely to break free from their racist
oppressors. In one way the situation paralleled what I had been
witnessing in Austria. The only way the world was ever going to rid
itself of these Southern racists and Nazi fascists, it seemed, was to
defeat them and then let them die out. But was that enough?

Back in the United States I continued my career as a free lance
professional hornist in Boston. In San Francisco I became a member
of the Oakland Symphony. Later I studied music composition at
Columbia University where I graduated with high honors and earned a
Master's Degree in Music Composition. I rejoiced when I read news
reports of how Austria was cracking down on neo-Nazis and passing
laws making it a crime to deny the Holocaust. But I was dismayed to
see Jörg Haider, who sympathized with National Socialism ideals, gain
a foothold in Austrian politics in the 1990s.

I returned to Vienna in the summer of 2001 for a nostalgic visit 42
years after I had last been there. I also visited Graz where I
attended the Opera, met the horn players, and visited old haunts.
One evening as I sat at my Pension bar having something to eat, an
intoxicated man also sat there mumbling over and over, "Wenn der
Hitler nur noch da war. Wenn der Hitler nur noch da war." [If only
Hitler were still here.] It was pitiful to observe this old Nazi
dying out, isolated and alone, but I was gratified to see that
everyone ignored his rant and refused to give him the solace he

We must all be ever vigilant to protect our hard won freedoms from
tyranny, whether the tyranny consists of slavery and racism or the
tyranny of fascism. As a former resident of Austria who lived and
breathed first-hand the Austrian culture of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven,
Schubert, Brahms, Johann and Richard Strauss, Klimt, Kokoschka,
Freud, Rilke, Trakl and much, much more during my stay there, it is
alarming now to read reports that the Austrian police and Austrian
prosecutors and Judges are resorting to the same totalitarian methods
Nazi fascists used in achieving their aims during the Nazi era. I
refer specifically to the ten animal welfare workers, including the
director of the organization known as Four Paws, who have been
imprisoned without charges since May 21 of this year in Vienna. One
of the ten is now in his fourth week of a hunger strike to protest
the groups incarceration and to bring their case before the world.
He is in possible danger of dying. It seems that once again the
question of just how dead or alive Nazism is in Austria must be asked
of this great land which has bequeathed to the world some of its
greatest cultural achievements.

According to reports, these ten people were awakened at 6 a.m. on May
21st by heavily armed masked police with drawn pistols and were
intimidated, humiliated, and arrested without ever being informed of
their supposed crimes. Some of them were not allowed to see a
lawyer, and some were not permitted to see friends or family for
several days. Computers, mobile phones, videos and books were
confiscated without cause on the off chance they might produce some
kind of evidence against the ten. The defense lawyers could not get
the State Prosecutor to reveal the charges against their clients
which they learned only at their first hearing. The Judge would not
permit the accused to speak and remanded them back to prison without
allowing them to present a proper case for their release.
Apparently, these ten people are being charged with every crime of
any kind related to animal rights for the past eleven years though
not one connection to these crimes can be shown. Most disturbing is
that the State Prosecutor is using an anti-terrorist law against
legitimate, non-criminal campaigning, claiming that the accused have
formed a "company" for the purpose of committing terrorist acts.
This is a vague, blanket kind of charge that the Austrian government
can throw at anyone without having to prove anything.

The question is, why have the Austrian Police and the State
Prosecutor done this? According to the ten, it is retaliation and an
attempt to shut them down because they were successful in their
campaigns to ban fur farms, wild animal circuses, battery cages and
vivisection on apes, and rabbit-cage farming. The ten say business
forces adversely affected by the success of their animal rights
campaigns are behind the frame-up and that the police and government
have joined sides with these businesses, becoming their enforcement
agent. The accused claim the Minister of the Interior slandered them
by calling them a violent group with no proof, which he was forced to
acknowledge, while the State Prosecutor released a false statement
that the ten are suspected of committing arson and gas attacks for
which not one scintilla of evidence exists.

This case reeks with the scent of fascism and demands an independent
investigation to determine whether the charges brought by the State
Prosecutor are true or false. If they are false, the ones who are
responsible deserve to be prosecuted themselves, including the State
Prosecutor and the Minister of the Interior, while the business
interests that precipitated this crisis need to be exposed and
prosecuted as well.

The word is out that Amnesty International, the Austrian Socialist
Party, and the Austrian Green Party are all questioning these
proceedings. I urge the Austrian people and responsible parties in
the Austrian government to step in and demand that the State
Prosecutor and the Minister of the Interior account for their
charges. Only in this way can an extreme miscarriage of justice be
prevented while letting those who would resort to fascistic methods
know in the starkest terms possible that such methods will not be
tolerated in the free country of Austria where fascism and a police
state are "verboten," and where " kleine Patschen" are regarded with
utter contempt.

Yours truly,

David Irving


Vijay Tankha (28)
Sunday June 29, 2008, 5:29 am
Think ! Where did Adolph Hitler come from? Where was he born. Apparently like Shakespeare said " There's somthing rotten about the state of -------------" ! Sorry! Just couldn't help it.

Hans L (958)
Monday June 30, 2008, 12:29 am
Dear Denise!
I hate to admit it but you are right! Something is realy rotten that this can happen again. And only a few people in Austria realy seem to care..they must all think that the activists realy are criminal otherwise there would be more protest....The use of the Cobra troups has somehow convinced many many people that these activists are dangerous!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday July 1, 2008, 3:55 pm
Liebe Freunde!
Dont give up you will soon be free! Its has been a terrible mistake of our new Landeshauptmann the former minister. The new minister will take care of this case and set them free! But the media in Austria should hear from you that you dont like what is going on....

Hans L (958)
Friday July 4, 2008, 8:10 am
Latest news in english

Hans L (958)
Thursday July 10, 2008, 3:29 pm
It has become clear that exMinister Platter is finally responsible for the exaggerated, inhumane, illegal and blotted police action against 28 private residences as well as offices and that Dr. Maria Berger as Minister of Justice is finally responsible for the continuous detention without having any evidence against the jailed 10 people. It is suggested that as good coalition-partners both ministers should resign due to these and other cases, which are pending against them and that § 278a ÖStGB (formation of a criminal organization) should be called in concerning all criminal state-corruption and corporate cartel-building cases, but not be misused for the legitimate work of registered and recognized NGOs and their members, donors, sponsors or supporters.

Hans L (958)
Tuesday September 2, 2008, 8:54 am
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