We are on hunger strike against continuous and perfected isolation, part of the extermination strategy directed against the prisoners from the armed anti-imperialist groups. The clearest example of this strategy is the current project of the BAW, the BKA/State Security, and the Länder justice authorities to isolate us in special cells, a project drawing on eight years’ experience using isolation. Soundproof cement bunkers with bullet-proof windows that cannot be opened; airtight doors and an air conditioner that produce pressure fluctuations; neon lights glaring all day long; a stainless steel sink, toilet, and mirror; furniture bolted to the cement floor. Many such isolation units exist, units that are under total surveillance and are hermetically sealed off from the rest of the institution. The prisoners held in these cells have no contact with one another. “Free movement” takes place in a wire-covered cement cage that is to all intents and purposes just another cell.
In Celle, Straubing, and Stammheim, the prisoners already suffer in this type of isolation bunker; in Berlin, Lübeck, Ossendorf, and many other prisons, similar units have been built or tested.
This machinery of destruction is being used because the state recognizes that the prisoners who were subjected to the previous isolation techniques had not been broken and that the murders of Ulrike, Andreas, Gudrun, Jan, and Ingrid and the attempted murder of Irmgard—made to look like suicides—were and are detrimental to the federal government’s objective. This objective, the establishment of social democracy’s “Model Germany” throughout Western Europe and beyond, is to be legitimized in the eyes of the people through the direct vote at the European Parliament—as, for example, was indicated during Kohl’s recent appearances in Holland. (That doesn’t preclude the federal government executing more prisoners should guerilla actions raise the stakes.)
The prisoners who refuse to stop struggling and who reject the “re-socialization” deal, who neither renounce nor collaborate, are to be physically and psychologically destroyed in the new isolation bunkers; when they are released they are to be incapable of further resistance—“their condition should make it nearly impossible” for them “to play any active role for the foreseeable future” in the anti-imperialist struggle, as Senator for Justice Dahrendorf has cynically formulated the counterstrategy’s objective.
- the abolition of isolation bunkers;
- the application of the minimum guarantees of the Geneva Convention and the International Declaration on Human Rights for all prisoners from anti-imperialist groups;
- association of these prisoners in groups large enough to allow interaction, as recommended by medical specialists;
- freedom for Günter Sonnenberg, whose head injury renders him unfit for prison;
- an inquiry into prison conditions by an international humanitarian body/organization.
In Ireland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Israel prisoners are struggling against prison conditions meant to destroy their political identity and to physically break them—prison conditions that, for the most part, have been implemented in the FRG.
Our hunger strike is part of this struggle and an expression of our solidarity with all prisoners who even in prison are resisting.
The Berlin RAF prisoners
April 20, 1979