Ten animal rights campaigners have been held since the 21th May after police raided twenty-three homes and offices in Austria charging individuals with 31 different offences related to the campaign against the the fur-promoting fashion company Kleider Bauer, but most significantly of forming a criminal organisation under Section 278a of Austrian law. One of the prisoners, Martin Balluch has been on hunger strike since the arrests against the violation of his human rights and the state attacks on legitimate campaigning organisations. He is now becoming very weak and was recently moved to a prison hospital after suffering from dizzyness, blurred vision, and stomach pains. Dr Balluch, Chairman of the Association against Animal Factories (VGT) in Austria has asked for "...everyone who cares about animal protection and human rights to take action now to prevent this crime. This kind of police arbitrariness against NPOs is something we might recognize in dictatorships, but not in a democracy. Please stand up strong; stand against this outrageous injustice. My life depends on it." Chair of the Austrian Vegan Society, Felix Hnat and other members have even been remanded, although no charges have been made against any members of the board.
Newswire: Statement by Martin Balluch | Activists remanded in custody 4 more weeks! | VGT Chairman Dr Martin Balluch Phd. On Hunger Strike
Global solidarity actions: 1 | 2 | New York City
Legal support: 1 | 2 | 3
Press releases: Vegan Society | VGT (Association against Animal Factories) | Amnesty International | die tierbefeier e.v. | EVANA | TBF
Links: Antirep2008 (Legal support) | tierbefreier.de (English solidarity website) | Indymedia Austria