On August 02 house raids were carried out on five people in Freiburg. Background of it are again started investigations concerning the left Internet platform "Linksunten Indymedia". The five people are accused of allegedly keeping alive the banned "association" around Linksunten, which was invented by the public prosecutor. The investigations are related to repression that recently took place against a journalist of a progresive democratic radio station in Freiburg.


Basically, the homes of four men and one woman were searched on Wednesday. According to a statement by the Autonomous Antifa Freiburg, police forces from the State Criminal Police Office (LKA), the Evidence and Arrest Unit (BFE) and the Freiburg local police were involved in the searches. The rooms of those involved were rammed open by the cops, whereupon hooded and shouting cops tied up the residents, if they could be found, and confiscated any technical equipment that could be found. About a dozen mobile devices, more than half a dozen computers and several storage media were confiscated. The Autonome Antifa reports property damage caused by the searches of several tens of thousands of euros. Again, because the five people are also the same people who were already affected in 2017 by the searches against Linksunten


To understand this, let's go back in time a bit. In 2017, repressive measures were taken against the left internet platform Linksunten Indymedia. Linksunten Indymedia was an open posting website, so an Internet platform in which anyone could publish contributions anonymously and independently. Over the years, this website developed into one of the most relevant media in the anti-fascist movement in Germany. Everyone could publish anonymous contributions there. Numerous calls for demonstrations and actions, in-depth research on the right-wing scene, but also letters of confession on militant attacks and outings of individuals appeared. The years-long history of progressive and anti-fascist movements, as well as numerous information on fascist structures were documented by the website.


Then, at the end of 2017, as mentioned above, repressive measures related to the website took place. In the midst of the wave of repression that was unleashed on progressive and revolutionary forces after the struggles against the G20 summit in Hamburg, that news site was also simply summarily banned. The measures against Linksunten took place under the leadership and orders of the then Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere, and were justified by the fact that calls and letters of confession to criminal acts were published there. However, because it is not legally possible to ban newspapers and press organs in the FRG, an association was constructed behind the website, which was allegedly directed against the so-called "constitutional order" and whose purpose and activities ran counter to the criminal laws of the FRG.


Consequently, the reaction began to take action against the medium. The site's servers were confiscated and the website was shut down. The five aforementioned individuals were subjected to house searches and a trial in which they were accused of allegedly being part of the banned "association" behind Indymedia.


The mere fact that a complete news medium was simply banned was a clear attack on the freedom of the press, which was condemned by numerous press lawyers and initiatives. The Society for Freedom Rights (SFR), for example, spoke of an abuse of the right of association and a violation of media freedom and stated that the state measures against Linksunten were a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.


The journalists' organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) also spoke of a "questionable ban in terms of the rule of law" and made it clear that an attempt was being made to circumvent a legal consideration of the fundamental right to freedom of the press through the back door of the law of associations. "Internationally, this sends out an alarming signal and provides repressive regimes all over the world with an excuse to do the same like the German authorities," was the fear expressed at the time by RWB managing director Christian Mihr.


In principle, according to the law of the FRG, there should be no clear legal basis for banning Linksunten. Also that to the prohibition used association right does not really pull here, because the prohibition of Linksunten, and/or the construct association was justified exclusively with the contributions published on the Internet side. According to the SFR, this would actually be a supervisory measure under media law, which would actually fall within the legislative competence of the federal states. Further it was also continuously denied by the accused that such an association behind the Website should have existed. The fact that the action against this medium now took place in this way was actually less due to clear legal reasons than to a clear political will to condemn on the part of the state.


In July 2022, the case against them was dropped for lack of evidence and the various seized goods had to be returned. The dismissal of the investigation was reported in numerous media. Among other things, Fabian Kienert, a journalist of the progressive democratic radio station "Radio Dreyeckland", wrote a short message in which the termination of the proceedings was reported. Thereupon searches took place at his home and in the editorial offices of the radio station and proceedings were opened against Kienert, in which he is accused of having supported the forbidden "association" behind Linksunten Indymedia through his article. He is said to have supported the organization by publishing a link to the source in the article, which led to an archive of the offline website that was freely accessible on the Internet. Apparently it can be now in the FRG also a criminal offense as a journalist sources to indicate.

The action against the aforementioned journalist is also a very clear attack on the freedom of the press and legally extremely questionable. On the one hand by the obvious aspect that here the journalistic activity is criminalized to a topic, on the other hand in addition, from the aspect that an association can be supported also only if it exists then also actually. The existence of the association behind Indymedia was already questionable and could not be proven by the repressive organs. But even if such an association should have existed, they were only accused of the activity around Linksunten Indymedia. With the confiscation of the servers and the shutdown of the website, they would then actually have to cease to exist as an association by ending their activities.


An association which no longer exists can no longer be supported. On this basis and due to the fact that a source reference in an article cannot be considered as "support", the charges against the journalist Kienert were rejected by the regional court in May of this year and the searches of his apartment and the editorial offices of his radio station were declared unlawful and compensation for this was ordered by the court.

Now in June of this year, however, this decision was overturned in a ruling by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Stuttgart and the charges against the journalist were admitted. In its ruling, the OLG argued, among other things, that in view of the archive uploaded online in 2020 by unknown persons, it was "predominantly likely" that Linksunten still existed after all, and that the platform could therefore also be supported in a prohibited manner. The renewed raids in Freiburg also took place in connection with this.


According to the bourgeois newspaper "neues Deutschland", the decision on the searches on August 2 also referred to the recent ruling by the Higher Regional Court. Obviously, the state is still trying hard to give some kind of legal justification for its justice of opinion against critical journalists. But although the legal justifications for the action against RDL and Linksunten were already absurd, the degree of absurdity increases even further with the new investigations, because these are not even directed against the operation of an active website, but only against the uploading of a static archive of a shutdown website. Something that, according to the law of the FRG, should not be illegal at all.


No matter how often the German bourgeoisie celebrates itself for its "freedom of speech" and its great "democratic and constitutional values", when it comes to persecuting its political opponents, these great values suddenly don't matter and they twist their own laws beyond recognition to silence critical voices.