A day in a prison in Seville I
What happened in Seville will not be easily forgotten. Not for the people hearing about it, not for the BVB fans travelling to Spain and by no means for the imprisoned Borussia Dortmund fans. Here is our first eye-witness report. Over the next few days more will follow.
with the following lines I want to try to convey my feelings and experiences from Spain, I hope it will work out well.
So, I'll start with the march and the actions at the seats etc. Many know that I kept far away from all the actions as I was simply afraid to get arrested there but as well for anybody else to be so. Well, it ended with us getting arrested later, after the match. Reasons were, at least regarding me, minor things like not standing where the cops wanted me to stay - Whatever, it doesn't matter now.
I'll tell you now about the part hardly anyone realised. After we had been dragged out of the stand, we went over to a fence under the terrace. There I was forced to stand with my head turned towards the fence, hands against the fence and legs apart. Everything was searched thoroughly, including my wallet. I looked several times behind me, of course, to see if they were stealing some money, this happened to someone else (35€), because of that the cops became slightly more aggressive. They kicked my legs so wide apart until it hurt as I was standing almost in the splits. Furthermore there was the order to look straight ahead over and over again and slaps against the back of the head.
Behind me I could hear the others being led over. One got slaps on the back of his head all the time, another one was treated very harsh and got hit many times. Behind my back I had to hear how people screamed and how they were thrown all over the place. After the cops had handcuffed us behind our backs and thrown us onto the floor, they were laughing and talking in Spanish. One of them came over to me, pulled my ear laughing and saying something in Spanish while doing so. At some point we set off with 6 people each in a box-type wagon. Unbelted and with our arms behind our backs we were allowed a nice drive: Sudden starts, hard breaking and strong cornering made it very "enjoyable". Sometimes we fell each other on the legs. After what felt like 10 minutes we arrived at the first stage of our 20 hours of horror. A police station somewhere in Seville. There we were walked along a corridor into a room where we were searched again. From little things like being thrown to the ground to deliberate provocation to pinches and slaps we had everything for one more time. We were asked what we wanted, for example if we wanted the embassy TO BE called. They also wanted to know the names of people we'd like to be informed and if we wanted to make a statement at the station or at court. The first fingerprints of the left and right thumbs were taken as well.
Then a younger cop came and pulled down hard the caps from those wearing one, shouting something in Spanish and put the caps into our pockets. Saying things like "You know Heinrich Himmler or Auschwitz?" and the suggestion of a shower didn't bolster us much up either. About 2 or 3 in the morning we were taken to the cells in the cellar, where they led us one after another. And we were searched thoroughly again. Ribbons of jackets, sweatshirts and trousers were cut off and laces were pulled out of the shoes. But we were allowed to take banknotes with us into the cell. Before we had to pull down our trousers, pull up our shirts and turn in a circle. Somewhere around threeish we must have been in the cells. They were about 6 squaremeters, completely white tiled and on a small landing a light.
Some of us had got a mat and blankets, others got nothing. The mats were 3 cm thick and made out of leather which was cold, the blankets were full of stains. There were no toilets or anything and the air-con was switched on, so it was very cold in there. Sleep was hardly possible for anybody because of the fear, the light and the cold. Every time we heard someone coming, we became terrified again.
Something else was really startling: If we had had ill people amongst us and they had got a seizure they would have died. There were no cops close by we could have called, neither was there an emergency button or controls. The only thing that kept me - and I think the others as well - alive was the fact that we were in one cell block and could hear and talk to each other. Around ninish fingerprints and photos were taken. The fingerprints once with a computer and once with ink, afterwards the cops brought us back to the cells. We got no information or anything like that, we were in despair about the situation. Between 12 and 13 o'clock we could talk to a "lawyer", if it was a real one - no idea. It was said there we would be taken to court in about two hours. Papers were quickly signed and then back again into the cellar cell. The last hours were really terrible as time just wouldn't pass.
We were scared someone would come in and attack one. The only thing that did happen was a guard opening the door and two cleaners coming in and spraying some citrous cleaner into the small cell which wasn't pleasant.
Around three in the afternoon, eventually, we got out of the single cells and into a communal cell that indeed looked like a gas chamber. A little while later we set off, in handcuffs into the box-type wagons and then towards court with the same driving style than the day before. After our arrival we had to stay in single cells again, this time ones with a hole in the floor as a toilet, a sink that was hard to recognize as one and a landing. We were stuffed into each of those cells with 6 people. Every now and then someone tried to make a joke, it helped not to freak out completely. Eventually we got something to eat there which wasn't eatable at all. Sometime later the translator came who said he had been the guy wearing the Schalke scarf next to the guest stand! Now we were told for the first time what we actually were accused of. It was nearly the same for everybody: Assault against the police and battery. He told us we were offered one year on probation, period of probation two years and a fine of 120€. If we didn't agree it would last a long time until we see a judge and then we would get at least 18 months without probation. All of us accepted immediately, of course. All we wanted was to get out of there. But the procedure lasted until eight in the evening. The last flight back to Germany was scheduled for 20.30 and the authorities apparently didn't want us to catch it. In between that translator twat came back and tried to take the piss saying the public prosecutor had changed his mind and chances for a suspended sentence were bad. After a short shock and the feeling of utter defencelessness and desperation he said "was only a joke".
Well, at about 20.15 me and the two last remaining guys signed the papers, then we got our stuff back and we could go. Just outside the building Jens was waiting: Such a feeling of happiness and joy I hadn't known until then. It was marvelous, when he said Borussia had left 7000 Euros we were incredibly happy! We went quickly to our hotel together with Jens as there were still some Seville people around. Little later we were in a small bar to have our first drinks and snacks after 20 hours. Jens had already booked the flights and the hostel and on Friday we could eventually fly home.
Those 20 hours have not only left physical marks. There's a lot going on in mind. It will take some time to get all this out of the system, I suppose. Thanks to everyone who helped and to the people who thought of us, and guys, be aware of one thing: Freedom is the most important and most wonderful thing in the world. Never forget this, forget all the money and the rest. Enjoy the freedom we live and even get aware of that in the stadium one day. After these days I understand even less how anybody cannot enjoy themselves. And although the police in Frankfurt were okay this time I have lost all faith and trust in the police.
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Cathy, thanky you for the translation