EMETIC TORTURE 1991 – 2006

  • 1991 In Bremen, police doctor Männche injects victims with emetics for the first time without an official order.
  • 1992 The distribution of emetics is institutionalized by the Bremen coalition (Ampelkoalition: SPD, FDP, Green Party). Over the next three years, emetics are administered to victims more than 400 times.
  • 1995 Abu Bakah Jalloh from Wuppertal defends himself legally with a complaint against the forced administration of emetics to him.
  • 1995 The Anti-Rassismus-Büro Bremen (Anti-Racism Office Bremen – ARAB) writes an open letter to Justice Senator Scherf demanding that the practice be stopped, and documents reports from those affected in the brochure “Polizisten, die zum Brechen reizen” (Policemen who provoke vomiting). As a result, two ARAB activists are investigated for “incitement of the people,” and the brochure is confiscated during a house search.
  • 1991-1995 The ARAB files a good dozen criminal complaint against those involved in the vomit system. All preliminary proceedings are dropped by the public prosecutor’s office.
  • 1995 Chief Public Prosecutor Frischmuth declares the practice of dispensing emetics to be legitimate – despite critical voices from doctors and those affected – and orders its continuation.
  • 1996 The Bremer Ärztekammer (Bremen Medical Chamber) finally declares the distribution of emetics to be “compatible with the professional ethics of physicians”.
  • 1996 The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt/Main rules that the use of emetics to preserve evidence is unlawful because it occurs “entirely without legal basis” and is not covered by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • 1999 Abu Bakah Jalloh files a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG). The BVerfG refuses to accept the complaint on formal grounds, stating that emetic operations “do not raise any fundamental constitutional objections with regard to human dignity […]”. The BVerfG explicitly does not comment on “the extent to which compulsory administration is permissible with regard to the protection of physical integrity and the proportionality of the intervention.”
  • 2000 Mr. Jalloh submits an individual complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
  • 2001 Achidi John is killed on December 12 in Hamburg during a forced administration of emetics. One day later, the BVerfG clarifies in a press release that – contrary to press reports – that it had not established the constitutionality of the compulsory administration of emetics in 1999.
  • 2001 On December 13, the parliamentary group of the Green Party in Bremen’s state parliament moves a motion to end the practice of administering emetics immediately. The SPD, CDU and DVU reject the motion. The forced distribution of emetics is continued.
  • 2005 By this year, a total of more than 1,000 emetics are administered in Bremen. Bremen is the birthplace and capital of emetic torture.
  • 2005 Laye Alama Condé dies in Bremen as a result of emetic use under duress. The state parliament of Bremen (Bürgerschaft) suspends the use of emetics.
  • 2006 The ECtHR upholds Mr. Jalloh’s complaint (11 years after his first complaint) and finds that the use of emetics is inhumane and degrading and violates the ban on torture.
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