Wednesday 2 October 2013

Dangerous Petitions Mean the End of Florida Vacations

As reported in Der Spiegel, FAZ, The Local and other sources, the German writer Ilija Trojanow was denied entry to the US on Monday, when intending to attend a German Studies conference. PEN American Center have protested to the government on his behalf.  
Here's a press release from the group of writers he's been working with:
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
US Authorities Deny Entry to German Author
On Monday, September 30, 2013, at the Salvador da Bahai airport in Brazil, writer Ilija Trojanow was prohibited from boarding an airplane that was to take him to Miami, Florida.
 The writer Ilija Trojanow had planned to travel from Brazil to the USA to take part in a German studies conference in Denver, Colorado. His flight was booked via Miami, where he was supposed to change planes.
At the American Airlines check-in counter in Salvador, Brazil, Trojanow was told that the airline had been instructed to inform the US authorities of his arrival at the airport. Once his data had been reviewed, he was refused permission to board the flight to Miami.
Ilija Trojanow held a valid, officially accepted travel authorization (ESTA). Nonetheless, the US authorities refused to allow him to enter the country. No reasons were given.
For years Trojanow has been active in protesting security legislation in the USA and Europe, and co-initiated a petition demanding a reaction to the NSA affair from the German government.  In 2009 he and the author Juli Zeh published the book Angriff auf die Freiheit – Sicherheit, Überwachungsstaat und der Abbau bürgerlicher Rechte (Attack Upon Freedom – Security, the Surveillance State and the Dismantling of Civil Rights).
“It is more than ironic that an author who raises his voice against the practices of the surveillance states should now be refused entry to the ‘land of the brave and free’,” writes Ilija Trojanow, currently stranded in Brazil, in his first statement on the incident.
The undersigned colleagues of Ilija Trojanow demand that the German government investigate this case immediately.

Juli Zeh
Eva Menasse
Michael Kumpfmüller
During the election campaign, the writers had attempted to hand over a petition asking Angela Merkel to react more strongly to the revelations of NSA spying on Europeans, as The Guardian reported. Merkel didn't come out of her office to accept it publicly.You can see the full list of writers by clicking the "petition" link above (which doesn't mean you automatically sign it).

A few British writers - including Stephen Fry and AL Kennedy - have been involved in a similar campaign with a petition addressing European leaders, according to The Guardian. Let's hope enough people sign the things for us all to cancel our Florida vacations.

1 comment:

David said...

What an outrage. I've written to my Senator and the US State Dept.