19 Nov

A letter from Thomas Meyer-Falk

t_m-fIn Germany in 2014 a 29 year old woman was sentenced to four years in prison for having sex without using a condom. Because the court deemed her a threat to public safety, Preventative Detention – indefinite imprisonment – was added.

The story:

Jaqueline was a young woman who was in love with life, she hung around the surroundings of a biker club and had a few partners. Years before she had caught HIV, but was taking medication for it and therefore hadn’t become ill.

Then Jaquline’s own mother, when she found out that her daughter had been having sex with men, reported her to the police.

The trial:

The district court found Jaqueline guilty of “attempting serious physical injury”: having sex without using a condom. According to the courts this was a highly dangerous “treatment” (the technical word in German law), and since she had done the same thing before, Preventative Detention was added.

History of Preventative Detention:

In 1933 the Nazis passed a law against people who were identified as “threats to society”, which allowed the state to keep someone behind bars for life after this person had finished his or her sentence (freedomforthomas.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/nazi-law-in-germany-2013/). After WWII, in 1954, the GDR (East Germany)’s High Courts repealed the law that had created PD because it was an “original Nazi code”. The courts in FRG (West Germany) never had such moral doubts. In Spain, the constitutional court has overruled a similar law, because it violates the rule saying that no-one should be convicted twice for the same offence.

No appeal!

The Federal High Court and the Federal Constitutional Court both refused to overrule the district court’s decision, so now Jaqueline, who is only 30 years old, faces a lifetime behind bars for only having had sex without a condom. No-one was injured, no-one was harmed, no-one was infected with HIV. Lifetime, maybe, behind bars – based on a law which was passed by the Nazis in 1933.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *