Anti-terror laws must be cancelled without replacement. Results of the symposium workshop

Results of the Anti-terror laws workshop on the International Anti-imperialist symposium, that was held in Berlin.

We note:

“Terror” and the “fight against terror” are political warfare terms. An internationally standardised definition does not exist. But one thing is a fact: what was terror for fascism, was and is actual antifascist resistance with the aim of liberation from barbarism and oppression. What was a threat to power for colonial powers was and is the liberation of peoples from foreign rule and oppression. The result of these struggles was achievements in international law that recognised liberation movements: The Nuremberg war crimes trials to condemn Hitler fascism, the anti-colonial liberation struggle and the emergence of other socialist countries led to the explicit establishment of a right to armed struggle in international law, as expressed in Article 1(4) of Additional Protocol I, among others, which considers “armed conflicts in which peoples fight against colonial rule and foreign occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right to self-determination” to be legitimate.

“Peoples struggling to liberate themselves from foreign oppression and exploitation have the right to use all means at their disposal, including force. … Acts committed by citizens of states at war resisting an aggressor in an occupied territory or fighting for their national liberation cannot be considered acts of international terrorism. On the other hand, acts carried out by a single state against a people with the aim of extinguishing its national liberation movement and breaking the resistance against the occupiers are genuine manifestations of international terrorism in its broadest sense. “

The criminalisation of associations and the increasing expansion of anti-terror laws are aimed precisely at this: to remove the legitimacy of liberation movements and resistance, to destroy the foundations of international law created after the Second World War.

The so-called anti-terror laws that have emerged in recent decades, which label anti-fascist resistance, national liberation struggles or active resistance in the environmental struggle as terrorism, negate and defame these historical achievements of international law.

  • Anti-terror laws are not necessary from a civil law perspective: any criminal offence can be prosecuted under existing criminal law. Every offence, every act in conflicts under international law can be prosecuted and sentenced under existing, conventional criminal law and international criminal law.
  • Anti-terror laws have a different function: they are an instrument of the ruling order, of securing existing statehood against resistance movements against oppression, unjust rule, exploitation and impoverishment.
  • Revolutionary and anti-fascist organisations and national liberation movements are accused of “terrorism” for resisting dictatorial and fascist regimes – including armed resistance – and calling for their democratisation, granting national self-determination rights and advocating a socialist society.
  • Anti-terror laws are enemy criminal law. They necessarily target the mindset, the politically opposed attitude. An offence is not necessary to be affected by anti-terror laws. Anti-terror laws therefore override democratic law:
  • The known figures on the ratio of investigations in the FRG for membership in left-wing opposition organisations in Turkey to convictions for § 129a/b StGB are 13 to 1. This also proves that §§ 129a/b StGB are also a kind of master key for the prosecution authorities – especially the BKA – sustainably breaking through the so-called separation of powers principle and investigations with a comprehensive set of intelligence service instruments. With the anti-terror laws, a complex of extraordinary legal measures is being activated, and not just in Germany, in order to collect data and build up a sociological picture on behalf of the authorities directed against opposition forces that are considered problematic They also target other oppositional forces, such as environmental organisations, far beyond left-wing forces, as the initiation of investigations under Section 129 of the German Criminal Code against the “Last Generation” shows. They are characterised by their nature as stigmatising and criminalising people as enemies, which is used not only repressively but also extensively preventively and places an ever-increasing number of people in the focus of the security forces.
  • Anti-terror laws open up the entire range of investigative measures to the state: Bugging the home, the car, listening in on telephone conversations for years, reading emails, etc. Those arrested are confronted with a special rule: Isolation of detainees, visits – even from children, family members and defence lawyers – only with a partition. All correspondence is monitored.
  • Anti-terror laws necessarily target constitutionally protected behaviour: No criminal offence in the actual sense is required to be affected by anti-terror laws. Organising meetings, making use of artistic freedom, disseminating an opinion – all this is enough to fall under the undefined concept of association and thus be confronted with the most severe measures.

We take action:

Those affected are in prison. Hundreds of years in prison are being imposed in countries against political activists and members of liberation movements. In Germany, four comrades showing solidarity are on a hunger strike in order to achieve, among other things, the immediate release of three defendants who are currently on trial before the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court on charges of having been active for the “terrorist organisation DHKPC”. Whatever one’s opinion of the hunger strike:

The central question is this:

In view of the fact that the number of crises and wars is increasing every day, the ruling order is resorting to ever more attacks and persecution of anti-fascists, climate activists, socialists and communists by means of hostile criminal law, anti-terror laws and categorisation as a “criminal organisation”.

It is not talked about. What caused political debate after 11 September 2011 seems to be the norm today.

That has to change! A broad debate is needed. And this must lead to action!

The anti-terror laws must be cancelled without replacement!

Democratic action cannot be a criminal offence!

Coalition Against the §§ 129

Result of the working group of the Symposium against Anti-Terror Laws in Berlin 2023

A call for a delegation to save the life of Eda Deniz Haydaroğlu


A letter to the Ministry of Justice


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