The case of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat will be heard in a German court on 11 March 2022. Barakat is fighting back against the Berlin immigration office’s imposition of a political ban on him, barring him from participating in political and social events and activities, and their order that he be expelled from the country for four years. Barakat was deported from Germany in August 2019, and has appealed the action of the immigration office. Click here to make a donation to support this important legal battle.
Khaled Barakat’s case is not only an individual case of repression. It is part of the systematic attack on Palestinian organizing, political expression and thought in Germany. Germany is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities in Europe, but its official policies not only provide support to the Israeli colonization of Palestine but also harshly target Palestinian and pro-Palestinian expression inside Germany.
Since Barakat’s expulsion, multiple Palestinians in Germany have been subjected to similar actions by the immigration office, targeting public or even private political expression in support of Palestinian rights. Palestinian and pro-Palestinian academics continue to face systematic attempts to silence them and strip them of access to public space. Most recently, Deutsche Welle – the German state broadcasting agency – has fired Palestinian and Arab journalists based on their social media posts about Palestine or opposition to the threats to freedom of expression in Europe.
There have been important victories when people fight back in court! Most recently, Germany’s highest administrative court ruled that the city of Munich could not deny public space to groups for programs because they advocate for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The Humboldt 3 fought back and won against attempts to criminalize them for protesting against an Israeli official at the Berlin university.
Now, after nearly three years, Khaled Barakat’s case is going to court in Germany. Please help support this important effort to fight back against political repression. We must pay for legal fees, translation and court expenses. Click here to make a donation. All funds raised in excess of what is needed for this case will go to support other Palestinians and activists for Palestine facing similar repressive immigration cases.
Learn more about the case:
Who is Khaled Barakat?
Khaled Barakat is a Palestinian writer and activist whose writings have been widely published in English and Arabic. He describes why he was targeted:
“The main reason that the German authorities took this decision of banning me for four years from entering Germany is to silence and suppress the Palestinian and Arab communities inside Germany more broadly. This case began with the confiscation of the right to speak, with the political ban on my speech at the event on June 22, 2019, shutting down an event that was organized by three Arab community organizations. My planned speech at this event was a discussion of Trump’s so-called “deal of the century,” and they found it so unacceptable that I would address this, that they sent the police to prevent it from happening.
This began as an attack on speech and expression, and it remains an attack on speech and expression. Germany is attempting to create an “example” of me, to show that those who oppose Israeli policies and the German political position in support of the occupier and the colonizer, will be subjected to silencing and repression. They do not want Israel – or Germany – to face this type of open criticism.”
Read more about the case:
- Khaled Barakat: The “Modern Marx” – by Thomas Hofland
- Oppression and resistance: Khaled Barakat speaks on Germany’s repression and Palestinian liberation
- Germany escalates attack on Khaled Barakat, Palestinian rights with four-year ban: Fight back against repression!
- Video: Webinar on Germany and the repression of Palestinian organizing
- Videos: Speakers confront political bans, anti-Palestinian repression in Germany
- Anti-Palestinian repression in Germany: Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat banned from speaking
- Samidoun condemns Berlin police repression, arrests at mass protest for Palestine
- Rasmea Odeh Breaking the Silence in Berlin: #RasmeaSpricht #RasmeaSpeaks
Watch this video from Redfish to learn more about the case:
What other cases of anti-Palestinian racism are taking place in Germany?
In the three years since the political ban on Barakat, anti-Palestinian racism and repression has only continued to grow. Several other Palestinians were delivered similar immigration notices, denying their visas or seeking to exclude them from the country for attending demonstrations or meetings in support of Palestine. Most recently, Arab and Palestinian journalists from Deutsche Welle were fired because of social media posts on Palestine.
This attack on freedom of expression comes alongside:
- the deportation of former political prisoner Rasmea Odeh and the prohibition of her speech;
- the repression of demonstrations for Palestine in support of the Unity Intifada in May 2021;
- the anti-BDS resolution passed by the Bundestag that aims to suppress the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign;
- the criminal prosecution of Palestinian and Jewish activists for interrupting an Israeli official involved in the war on Gaza of 2014;
- the forced resignation of the director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum for sharing an article about Jewish opposition to the anti-BDS resolution;
- the closure of the bank account of Jewish Voices for Peace, a Jewish organization in Germany advocating for justice in Palestine;
- the cancellation of invitations to international artists, such as American rapper Talib Kweli and Scottish rappers Young Fathers, because of their support for BDS and Palestinian human rights
Legal action has won some important victories in Germany’s administrative courts, and this case is important to pushing back against the escalating attempts to silence the Palestinian community and people who stand for justice in Palestine.
How can you support?
1. Make a donation to support the legal expenses of fighting back! After nearly three years, Khaled Barakat’s case is going to court in Germany. Please help support this important effort to fight back against political repression. We must pay for legal fees, translation and court expenses.Click here to make a donation. All funds raised in excess of what is needed for this case will go to support other Palestinians and activists for Palestine facing similar repressive immigration cases.
2. Support Palestinian rights in Germany with a statement, picket or action. Write a statement from your organization about these cases and share the appeal with your members. Raise these issues at demonstrations for justice in your community, or protest at a German embassy or consulate. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Facebook about your statement, event or action.
3. Call the German embassy or consulate in your area and speak up about the ongoing attack on Palestinian rights in Germany. Use this link to find the German embassy or consulate in your area! For easy reference, the German embassy in the US can be reached at +1 (202) 298-4000; the German embassy in Canada at +1 (613) 232 1101; and the German embassy to the UK at +44 20 78 24 13 00. Find the German embassy or consulate near you at: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/germany
When you call, say, “My name is _____ and I am calling from _____. I am calling about the ongoing attacks on advocacy for justice in Palestine in Germany. In particular, the political ban and expulsion of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat in Berlin. His case will be in court on 11 March in Berlin, and Germany’s actions are clearly undemocratic and a direct violation of fundamental human rights. Palestinians must have the right to speak.”
4. Write a letter to the German embassy or consulate in your area on behalf of yourself or your organization against the repression and deportation of Khaled Barakat and in support of Palestinian rights. Here is a quick sample letter that you can use or adapt as you wish:
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
To whom it may concern;
We are writing to express our deepest concern about the ongoing repression of Palestinian rights and advocacy in Germany. We are very concerned that a police state atmosphere is being developed to silence Palestinian activism, an atmosphere that reflects racism, repression and discrimination.
We are particularly concerned about the case of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat, which will be heard in court in Berlin on 11 March. The allegations against his speeches and writings are false and inaccurate; his writings challenge colonialism and injustice and present a vision of universal justice and liberation. For this, he was subjected to a political ban and deported from Germany for four years.
Once again, we are appalled by the ongoing silencing and suppression being directed at Palestinians and advocates for Palestine in Germany, and we see that fundamental human rights are at risk and already being violated.
Further, we also urge the Federal Republic of Germany to uphold human rights in international forums and take meaningful action to stop ongoing Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people, including supporting a military embargo on Israel.
A list of German embassies and consulates is available here: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/germany
5. Take an individual or group photo or video with the campaign poster (below), make your own sign and share on social media! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show us your solidarity with Khaled Barakat and support for Palestinian rights!
You can show your solidarity with the graphics below! Print the signs and posters and bring them to a demonstration, or take a selfie and post on social media. You can use the cover photo on your Facebook or elsewhere to show your support for Khaled Barakat and your opposition to the escalating attempts to criminalize support for justice in Palestine in Germany and around the world. Download the images below:
Poster: (download at full size)
Social media cover or banner image (download here)
List of organizations and statements in support of Khaled Barakat (under construction)
Here are some of the solidarity statements we have received, as well as articles covering the situation:
- Members of European Parliament Manu Pineda and Pernando Barrena
- Member of Bundestag Diether Dehm (DIE LINKE)
- International Association of Democratic Lawyers
- Portuguese Communist Party
- European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)
- Internationale League for Human Rights
- Association of Democratic Lawyers in Germany (VDJ)
- Unauthorized Disclosure Podcast
- Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
- Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)
- Gruppe ArbeiterInnenMacht and REVOLUTION – International Communist Youth Organization
- Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) of Catalonia
- No One Is Illegal Vancouver
- Junge Welt
- Sindicato General di Base (Italian trade union)
- Lebanese parliamentarian Osama Saad
- Campaign to Free Georges Abdallah in Lebanon
- Revolutionary Communist Group
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization
- Struggle/La Lucha
- Red Flag in London
- La Verite pour Adama campaign
- US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
- Internationalt Forum – Denmark
- Philippines-Palestine Friendship Committee
- Secours Rouge of Belgium
- Youth Platform Zurich
- Collectif Palestine Vaincra
- ATIK (Confederation of Turkish Workers in Europe)
- Unified Campaign for the Release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
- ILPS (International League of People’s Struggles)
- Revolutionaire Eenheid
- UDAP (Unione Democratica Arabo Palestinese) – Italy
- Associazione Amicizia Sardegna Palestine and BDS Sardegna
- Anti Imperialist Action Ireland
- Skyline for Human Rights
- Palästina Solidarität
- BDS Türkiye
- Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine
- TeleSur English
- Secours Rouge Canada
- Proletari torinesi per il Soccorso Rosso Internazionale
- Electronic Intifada
- Palestine Matters
- Palestine Chronicle
- Indus News
- Middle East Monitor
- Fight Back News
- Al Hadaf News
- Quds News Network
- ISM France
- Group 194
- Palestina Libre
- International Middle East Media Center