In memory of Mohammad Sillah who died on the 14th of January 2007 because he was denied medical help.
Originally published by Antifaschistische Aktion Remscheid
23-year-old Mohammad Sillah was a singer / songwriter from Guinea, who lived in the refugee camp Remscheid, Bergfrieder Weg. He was described by friends and acquaintances as a friendly and joyful person who was very creative and loved playing music.
At the beginning of January 2007 Mohammad sought primary medical help because of severe pain. He was told by the general practitioner that he would not be able to receive treatment until he had a health insurance certificate. Mohammed applied for the certificate at the local social service office, but was denied the document on the grounds that he would have to leave the country soon anyway.
On the 11th of January the pain became so strong that Mohammad asked the caretaker of his accommodation to call an ambulance. The caretaker refused, saying if Mohammed could walk downstairs by himself, he could get to the hospital on his own.
With the help of an African roommate, Mohammad tried to get to the hospital on foot. He collapsed on the way and was carried there on the shoulders of his companion.
Three days later he was transferred to a hospital in Essen where he eventually died.
The city of Remscheid and in particular Burkhard Mast-Weisz (who is today’s mayor of Remscheid and who was head of social services in Remscheid at the time) denied any complicity in Mohammed’s death, claiming that Mohammed would have never been refused a health insurance certificate by the department had he applied for one.
The public prosecution’s office in Wuppertal investigated briefly, but soon closed the case. Instead of further investigations, a raid took place in October the same year to intimidate and criminalize protesting refugees. The course of action by the police was later classified by several courts as unlawful.
To make sure that victims of institutional racism will not be forgotten and that such horrific events will not repeat themselves we will meet on 14th of January 2017, the tenth anniversary of Mohammed Sillah’s death, to draw attention to the chicanery and the exclusion methods of the city of Remscheid and the German government against fugitives and to demand solidarity, unity and equality!
In memory of Mohammad Sillah and all victims of institutional racism!
For free access to health care – for the closure of all collection and isolation camps!
For a society without racism, exploitation and wars !
January 14th, .2017 // 02:30pm (14:30) // Remscheid Hbf (Remscheid main train station), Germany