26. May 2009 – Hessian police deported a Rom in a night and fog action. An interview with Cemila Gasi

Interview: Gitta Düperthal

Cemila Gasi (name changed by the editors) is a young Roma from Kosovo, who is also under threat of beiging deported. She had to witness how her cousin Elvis was arrested in the middle of the night and put onboard of an aircraft to Kosovo on Tuesday at noon.

It seems that the Hessian Minister President Roland Koch and his Minister of Interior Volker Bouffier (both [members of the conservative party] CDU) to free Hessen of “gypsies,” as they used to call it.

Ms. Gasi, you had to witness how a Rom was picked from his home in the Kassel district on Tuesday in one night and fog action. It was your cousin, the 26-year-old Elvis A. How did the deportation occur?

It was ten minutes after midnight, when somebody knocked loudly at the door us over. More than seven police cars stood in front of and behind of the house. We – my parents, siblings and I – were very worried. First, we dared not even look out the window to see what was happening. We thought that they could take us with them too, even if the deadline for our “voluntary” departure has not expired yet – it lasts until 5th June. They then knocked at our door, because they were looking for the family of my cousin and asked whether they can search our apartment.

However, apart from our family, there was no one in the flat. We told the police that my mother is very ill and that we do not want her to be annoyed. They then apologized themselves. We saw then from the balcony how they arrested my cousin. We were all under shock. His wife later told us that the police had broken the door open. She could put only 20 kilos [of luggage] for my cousin in a plastic bag. He was not allowed to carry more. The police looked for the rest of my cousin’s family for almost two hours.

During that night, we did not sleep at all. Only 35 hours later, I was able to fall asleep again – even the next night I laid trembling in my bed from fear.

How did your cousin live here?

This we is something we cannot understand: He has two young children, and, since early May, he had work. I asked my lawyer, Alex Selbert, if he could ever be deported. He said that the protection of the family would have to be maintained: Elvis’ wife has a residence permit, and he is the father of her two minor children. Therefore, the entry deadline for individual long-standing refugees in Germany does not count for him. As a family man, he already had six years of stay in Germany. This has shocked us a lot. Mr. Selbert also said that the lawyer of my cousin who is from Lower Saxony probably did not expect the harsh attitude in Hessen. He seems to have been confident that his client was not under threat to be deported.

Have you already heard how your cousin is doing?

No. This is why we are very worried. During the night, when he was arrested, we went to the police station at half past two in order to give him cigarettes and some money, but we were told that he had already gone. The parents and his two sisters were so afraid that they did want to stay at home overnight. After the deportation of my cousin, we have taken his wife and their children with us. The landlord did not want them to remain in the apartment, my cousin had rented. What is particularly hard is that her son will have to celebrate his first birthday this way.
You also under threat of being deported, even though you speak fluent German and have a job …

If they pick me, I will panic. I am afraid to travel by airplane and would not survive. I have lived here [in Germany]for ten years and would like to be finally accepted. I can not be expected to live in Kosovo. I speak only Romany and only a few words of Albanian. My hometown is firmly in ethnic Albanian hands. This is why so we had to flee.

Courtesy translation of an interview which was published in “Junge Welt” on 28 May 2009.

See also: Deportationsdrohung, Junge Welt, 22. Mai 2009