Conference of Refugees from Niedersachsen in Hannover

July 2, 2011, 12:00 o’clock in Hannover
Place of meeting: Kargah e.V., Zur Bettfedernfabrik 1, 30451 Hannover-Linden


Dear friends,

we, refugees from the administrative district of Gifhorn and supporters are actually visiting different Lagers, to invite you, the refugees, to our first coordination meeting on July 2, 2011 to Hannover. During this meeting we want to introduce ourselves and inform each other about the specific problems of each Landkreis (administrative district), Lager or the Ausländerbehörden (Foreigners Office). We want to exchange on our experiences of protest and coordinate our future activities.

The administrative district of Gifhorn runs a refugee camp in Meinersen. Most of us live there for many years. The Lager in Meinersen like other Lagers in Niedersachsen is characterized by isolation from the rest of the society. There is little space for the refugees without any privacy. Most of us do not receive any cash but only Gutscheine. Work prohibition and lack of medical care determine our daily life.

The Ausländerbehörde of Gifhorn harasses us. Every three days we have to go to Gifhorn that is 15 km away from Meinersen, to extend our Duldung. The employees of the Ausländerbehörde threaten us always with deportation and with cutting of the payments. Release from the Residenzpflicht is seldom given to us. By doing so, the Ausländerbehörde wants to hinder us to tell the public about the daily racism. They do not want us to contact other refugees in other Lagers. Shambhu Lama, one of our housemates, was harassed permanently from the Ausländerbehörde of Gifhorn. Despite the fact, that he had a German child, the Ausländerbehörde told him at the end of February, that they deport him in two days. Thereafter Shambhu Lama committed suicide. He let his head on the rails and a freight train rolled over him. He did not bear anymore the harassments, the pressure and the threats, that we refugees from Niedersachsen are confronted with.

In the Lager of Bramsche protest took place as well. Refugees demanded to discuss with the Lager administration and to find solutions for the problems. Nothing happened. The refugees protested on February 24 and on March 14. In Bramsche the refugees complain about the following points. 1) They receive only Gutscheine instead of cash. 2) The food given in the canteen is monotonous. There are no special diets or food for special needs. 3) The refugees are not allowed to visit special doctors or only with delay. First they have to go to the a common doctor who works in the Lager. 4) stress and pressure through the offices and the Lager administration. The main problem however is the isolation through the Lager itself.

The city administration of Oldenburg had decided to continue running the Lager as a refugee common camp. Several protest against the decision took place, the last was on February 26, 2011. The city then decided to close the camp. 300 refugees should then be distributed in Oldenburg, the rest in other places of Niedersachsen. A plan exists to built a residential home in Oldenburg. It is not clear, what happens with the refugees who still live in the ZAAB (Zentrale Aufnahme- und Ausländerbehörde).

In the federal state of Thuringia the self organization of refugee communities grows. Refugees from Braunschweig and Cuxhaven participated in the nation wide refugee conference of THE VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena and in the protest in front of the Lager in Zella-Mehlis to show solidarity and to exchange with other refugees. With Video:
The interior minister of Niedersachsen Mr. Uwe Schüneman executes a xenophobic and racist policy in Niedersachsen. He states that the Ausländerbehörden work correctly. But the real life of refugees is different. Therefore, the Youth Initiative without Borders (Jugendliche ohne Grenzen JoG) has twice awarded consecutively Schüneman as the deportation Minister of the Year.

We therefore call everyone in Niedersachen to struggle against this racism, against Duldung, against racist Ausländerbehörden and against the Residenzpflicht. Participate in our meeting in Hannover on July 2, 2011. The meeting starts at 12:00 and ends at 17:00. Activists from The VOICE Refugee Forum from Thuringia and Baden-Württemberg will be present.
Travelling costs will be refunded. If you can not pay the travelling cost to come to Hannover or if you need a personal invitation for the release from Residenzpflicht for the Ausländerbehörde contact the numbers below. Please tell us, if you need a sleeping possibility.

Please tell us ahead if you are coming and which language you speak. We try to organize translations ourselves in different languages. If you can help us, it would ease our communication.

Best greetings
Refugees of Landkreis Gifhorn and supporters


Nurjana (Russian and German)
Phone: 0174 / 8633075, E-Mail:

Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen (German and English)
Langer Garten 23 B, 31137 Hildesheim, Phone: 05121 / 15605, Email:

Araz (farsi), KARAWANE für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen Wuppertal
Phone: 01788530701

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