Two recent fundraising appeals that seemed worth sharing:
In Hungary, Ahmed H, a Syrian migrant, is being charged with terrorism offences for taking part in a protest against the closing of the Hungarian border in September 2015. The “Free the Röszke 11” defence campaign is now fundraising to get him a decent lawyer. In their words:
“The government of Hungary has been widely criticized for recent xenophobic actions that target migrants. The case of Ahmed H. has been a flagship of the government’s efforts to scapegoat refugees and migrants as terrorists. Applying vaguely formulated anti-terrorism laws to minor offenses such as throwing stones as an instrument to silence protest opens the door to further arbitrary arrests and has implications way beyond the tragic destruction of one, Ahmed H.’s, life.
We try to support Ahmed with enough money to be able to pay for a good lawyer. We demand freedom for Ahmed H. and want to support him and his family in the struggle against the politically motivated persecution by the Hungarian government…
Unfortunately there is no pro bono lawyer with sufficient knowledge to defend Ahmed in front of the court in Hungary. This is why Ahmed had to hire a private lawyer, who charges a total fee of 15000€ for the upcoming trial. Ahmed H.’s family is not able to cover those expenses, as his wife has been supporting their 2 young children alone since Ahmed’s imprisonment.
Without being able to pay, there is the risk that Ahmed will not have a defense lawyer who knows his case. We won’t leave Ahmed and his family alone with those expenses. Let’s stand in solidarity and help them cover the costs for the lawyer!
On September 15th, 2015, the Hungarian government closed the border to Serbia and – from one day to the other – made it illegal by criminal law to cross into Hungary. Hundreds of people got stuck at the Röszke-Horgoš border crossing without legal information or support. The situation got more and more tense until protest started and escalated with protesters throwing stones and police massively using tear gas.
Ahmed H. participated in the protest against the border closure by communicating as one of several people between the police and the crowd with a megaphone – saying things like “please open the border” and “we are getting impatient here” – and throwing three stones at the police. Together with ten other people (altogether commonly referred to as the Röszke 11) he was randomly picked out and arrested in the police operation. But, unlike the others he is not accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation”, but of “terrorism and other crimes”. This charge is exclusively based on his use of a megaphone and participation in throwing stones.”
In Brazil, Rafael Braga, a young black man who’s been subject to police harrassment since being caught up in the repression of the 2013 movement against bus price increases, is currently under house arrest, having been released from prison for health reasons. The Campaign for the Freedom of Rafael Braga is now fundraising to allow Rafael and his family to live in decent housing. You should be able to donate here (although the page is all in Portugese, so might be worth running through a machine translation first).