Swiss prisons: Marco Camenisch denied conditional release (update)

ROS – Psychiatry assumes the power to define the execution of probation and correctional law

The office for probation and corrections services of the cantonal Office for the Execution of Penal Sentences and Justice sabotages all efforts aiming at easing the situation of imprisonment of Marco or to grant parole for him. The office for enforcement 3 (SMV3) uses a clearly political argumentation: As an unbroken anarchist he cannot be released from prison, and by drawing up an ROS report (risk-oriented sanctions enforcement), a kind of “Materials Testing Institution”, they acquire new arguments.

For some time the penal system is being aggressively colonized by psychiatry and psychology in Zurich as in prisons elsewhere. The report of the forensic psychiatric department from 31.3.2015 provides a “risk-oriented sanctions enforcement” assessment, a new evaluating development, since the report explicitly uses psychiatric argumentation only and for the first time formulates specific “recommendations”. Urbaniok’s psychiatry distributes contact prohibitions – defines political distancing or rather political renunciation as a requirement for conditional release. The big word is and remains the “crime-promoting ideology”!

We cite from the report’s controversial points:

• The legal prognosis is supposedly bad, since “he continuously strongly and actively delves in his ideology and is in contact with relevant comrades” which “can be seen in his statements as well as in his networking with the scene”.

• “It has been observed that MC’s attitude is solidified and imprisonment has not initiated a process of change.”

• “It may very well be required from a person like MC that he reflects on his statements – knowing of his influence and possible consequences – and that he is able to recognize statements of a more or less inciting content. To reduce the risk MC would have to distance himself from his conviction for which currently no evidence can be found” since he “is not willing to do any work concerning his crimes”.

And on “recommendations for intervention” we read:

• “Support for the establishment of a social environment distant from delinquency, in the context of relief measures.”

• “Control for information on contacts with violent sympathizers.”

• “Prerequisite for relief would be that MC declares his willingness to allow control of his activities and collaborates with the judiciary on common goals with respect to resocialization (focus: build a new delinquency distant environment).”

And for the umpteenth time:

• “MC would be willing to establish a social environment distant from delinquency.” and regarding the need for control “only makes sense if these areas actually turn out to be well controllable and a reaction could follow” and more “MC himself should actively collaborate in this control. Further on he would have to credibly demonstrate that he distances himself both actively in a leading position, as well as passively in a planning or supportive role, of possible criminal actions and will also not be in endangering company.”

In plain language: Marco must renounce his many and international comrades, friends and acquaintances of many years, and with the help and under control of the executive authorities, build a “delinquency-free” environment, so that an “enforcement plan with a realistic relief perspective” would be considered.

Looking back: In December 2014 it became public that the Federal Court in Lausanne denied conditional release for Marco, to which he would be entitled after having been imprisoned for more than two thirds of his sentence. The court based its verdict on the usual phrases, which it copied from previous court decisions. The verdict was that Marco was not to be released due to the lack of distancing himself from his political identity. At the same time the supreme court pointed out that relief measures should be seriously considered due to the approaching end of his imprisonment in 2018.

The Cantonal Office for the Execution of Penal Sentences responded to the broad hint and started investigations. In a lengthy report, the aforementioned ROS investigation resulted in detailed explanations, why firstly Marco was not to be released and secondly imprisonment relaxations were not to be considered. The report was compiled by the forensic psychiatric service of the Cantonal Penal Office, which is headed by Frank Urbaniok. As it was to be expected, this service once again primarily aimed at the political identity of Marco. How should it be otherwise, since Marco denies cooperation with this service, that under the guise of psychiatry ultimately is an actor that drives toward a zero tolerance society in favor of absolute security (while at the same time, capitalism produces the greatest risks and conflicts).

In addition, it is clear that Marco’s political identity can certainly not be the subject of psychiatric investigation. What the Office writes ultimately means: Whoever after all these years remains “strong and active in his ideology” has a mental disorder. It is understandable that Marco does not deign to this depoliticising and defamatory level.

Accordingly despite its length, the report’s content is fairly meager and it is clearly apparent that the Office is handing over the power of definition to forensic psychiatry, doing everything it can to not have to grant Marco conditional release. Cowardly, they prevent any form of enforcement relief.

As long as the office repeats its mantra of “delinquency-promoting ideology with a strong propensity to violence” and wants Marco to pathologize his identity and distance himself from his comrades and friends, the reports of this office will be negative and thus any steps towards the implementation of relief will be sabotaged. Marco writes that these recommendations (which have been made for the first time), to break with his previous environment, represent “a social and existential death sentence by a virtually total break with the entire long-standing own life-environment, by breaking-up with all the important, close and loved ones”.

2018 will be the year when Marco’s imprisonment ends. Their political attack against him and what he stands for is constant and obvious. Again and again they are aiming at his political identity, now using forensic psychiatry trying to pathologize him and impose requirements representing demonstrations of power of the state. It is the power of the state, that defines, gives orders and uses its repressive forces trying to monitor who will be observed, evicted, or locked up. In Marco’s case, it will remain like this until he renounces his political position, his identity, estranges himself from his base and having become a broken man, falls into the lap of the bourgeois social order.

The extortionate demonstration of power by the state has many facets, we know quite a few of them from our own struggle, for example the struggle in public places like on May 1st, the struggle against profit-oriented urban development, labor struggles, against migration policies, etc.

The State’s demonstration of power against Marco is one that affects us all!

His struggle to finally leave the jail in an upright posture in order to lead a life of self-determined dignity, is our struggle!

International solidarity is an important weapon in this – let us use it.

Marco libero!

Red Aid Switzerland

Related articles in German:
Marco Camenisch about the latest developments
Declaration of the Red Aid about the Lausanne Federal Court judgment