We, the Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense, commemorate on this 21st of April 2020 our brother William Tonou-Mbobda, who was torn out of his young life by a brutal forced restraint by 3 employees of the security service KLE at the UKE Hamburg without a court order exactly one year ago. Our thoughts today are especially with the grieving relatives and friends, who until today have not received an apology or any comprehensible explanation.
Today we once again renew our c ommitment of the Black Community Hamburg to the family of our murdered brother that we will do everything in our power to completely clear up the crime and bring justice.
Since the Hamburg public prosecutor's office has not yet brought charges, the current status of the criminal prosecution is not comprehensible either to the family or to the public.
Therefore, on the first anniversary of his death, we hereby declare a substitute civil indictment of the following persons, institutions and conditions:
- We charge the violent security staff of the UKE subsidiary Klinik Logistik & Engineering GmbH of having collectively killed our brother Tonou-Mbobda on April 21, 2020 by fixing his arms on his back in a prone position and making him at least partially additionally burdened by their body weight. In doing so, they deliberately accepted the positional suffocation of the killed person.
- We charge the responsible ward physician of the UKE psychiatric ward of having unlawfully ordered the violent forced placement of brother Tonou-Mbobda without a court order for placement and of not having supervised him medically in the following. We charge her of not having taken seriously the reservations Tonou-Mbobda had about taking the prescribed medication because of a proven allergic reaction. In addition, the traumatic loss of his brother due to an allergic reaction to a drug would also have been a reason for offering an alternative treatment strategy. Furthermore, we charge her of not having diagnosed the serious congenital heart defect, which was later discovered during the forensic medical examination, during admission examination as to exclude underlying physical causes for his psychological distress.
- We charge the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the UKE and the UKE as a whole of having never provided psychological assistance to the surviving dependents of Tonou-Mbobda, who died in their care. In addition, no personally comprehensible explanation was given to the family members as to how and why their son, brother and cousin had to die violently. We charge both for the fact, that up to this day there has been no expression of sympathy personally addressed or delivered to the family neither by the responsible clinic nor the UKE.
- We charge the UKE of having publicly and in violation of medical confidentiality drawn a stigmatizing picture of the deceased as an "aggressive patient" in order to deceive the public about its own responsibility for the patient's death.
- We charge the Clinic for Intensive Care Medicine of the UKE of having failed to carry out a prompt external forensic examination and documentation of the consequences of the injury despite explicit notification, or of having arranged for it several days later.
- We charge the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the UKE of having accepted and carried out the autopsy order under the leading responsibility of Prof. Dr. Klaus Püschel despite the existence of an obvious conflict of interest due to his employment with the company UKE. In addition, we charge Prof. Dr. Klaus Püschel and his autopsy team of having prepared a one-sided autopsy report with complete omission of the discussion of an obvious situation-related death by suffocation. This omission confirms the conflict of interest already accused above both technically and factually.
- We charge the public prosecutor's office in Hamburg of having delayed the investigation into the Tonou-Mbobda homicide until today without bringing charges. We further charge the public prosecutor's office of having awarded the contract for the autopsy to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the UKE, although a conflict of interest was obvious. The involvement of an external forensic physician under the direction of Prof. Dr. Püschel was neither suitable nor appropriate to eliminate or render ineffective this conflict of interest.
- We charge the UKE as a whole of having failed to provide effective further training for its employees* on the subject of situation-related asphyxiation and the S3 guideline of the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology "Prevention of Coercion" dated 10 September 2018. There is no other explanation for the fatal action of the security service employees on 21.04.2019 against our brother Tonou-Mbobda, nor for the assessments of UKE employees* on the allegedly "professional" or "appropriate" action of these security service employees.
- We charge UKE as a whole of not having any interest in providing effective and protected reporting facilities for racist or other inhuman incidents or of not having adapted such reporting facilities to actual requirements. In addition, we charge UKE of failing to provide a responsible mechanism for dealing with medically-related deaths or injuries to relatives, as there is evidence that it failed to do so in this case.
- We charge the UKE as a whole of having revealed, if at all, only a rudimentary understanding of the institutionalised mechanisms of racism and, beyond that, an absolutely inappropriate culture of error. The UKE was neither capable to deal with the death of our brother Tonou-Mbobda appropriately, nor with the bereaved and friends in a respectful and reflective manner.
Our demands on the first anniversary of the death of Brother Tonou-Mbobda:
We request the UKE to apologize to the bereaved in an appropriate and personal manner for the death of William Tonou-Mbobda and to reimburse the costs incurred for the transfer and burial of the body.
We call on the Hamburg public prosecutor's office to now file the indictment without further delay or to reliably state when such an indictment will take place.
We call on people of African Descent to join us today in commemorating our brother William Tonou-Mbobda and his family. We ask you to support the family in their fight for enlightenment and justice with all your strength and to make this case known beyond the borders of Germany, especially in Africa.
We call upon the solidary civil society in Hamburg and throughout Germany to recognize and support the struggles of the Black Communities in Germany for the elucidation of institutionalized murders of blacks and other racialized people. It is the task of the German civil society to effectively put an end to the racism systemically active in it, its authorities and institutions, for example through racial profiling, special laws and restrictions on benefits for asylum seekers* or prejudicial legal decisions.
The violent death of Tonou-Mbobda is not an isolated incident!
The fact that time and again black people have to die in the responsibility or because of the irresponsibility of German institutions and authorities, or are severely injured and disadvantaged, is unfortunately a bitter experience of our community here in Hamburg for many years:
In 2001 Achidi John died at the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the UKE - he was killed by Prof. Dr. Ute Lockemann by forceful administration of an emetic...
In 2014 Francis Kwame died on the streets of Hamburg after surviving the Libyan war in 2011, the flight across the Mediterranean and the hopelessness of Italy...
Yaya Jabbi died in 2016 in the Hahnöversand prison in Hamburg. The prison authorities announced that Yaya killed himself by hanging himself in his cell, although there were no signs of this shortly before...
In 2017 the Ghanaian Obang A.A. is shot by a civilian policeman and then simply left without any help until the ambulance arrives only after 15min+ later...
In 2019 William Tonou-Mbobda dies due to an illegal, irregular and inappropriate coercive fixation in front of the psychiatric ward at UKE...
...and no one has yet been held accountable for any of these deaths or injuries!
Touch ONE - Touch ALL
Stop Killing Black People!
Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense
Contact: Sister Oloruntoyin (+49157-85508102) and Brother Mwayemudza (+49176-99621504)
Black Community Hamburg
African Communities Organizers
AKONDA eine Welt Cafe
Alafia – Africa Festival Hamburg
ARCA – Afrikanisches Bildungszentrum e.V.
Black Media Group Germany
Black Students Union for Justice and Self Defence, Hamburg
CECAM HH e.V. – Civil Engagement of Cameroonians in Hamburg
Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh
Initiative in Gedenken an Yaya Jabbi
ISD Hamburg – Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland
Sisters in Struggle
The VOICE Refugee Forum
Tschoobé For Freedom Germany
Hamburg, 21 April 2020