At seven in the morning the doorbell rings. Janica Bondorff is still lying in bed at this time, “half-naked,” she says. A few moments later, seven detectives were standing in the 15-year-old’s room, according to the youth and their mother. These officials lead the state security service in Augsburg – the Krebo department responsible for political crimes.
The family home was searched for hours, Janica said. “First, I stood half-naked in front of the policemen.” She was later taken alone into a police car, but was previously searched on the sidewalk. “Standard procedure to rule out endangering yourself or endangering officers,” police say.
But the 15-year-old is shy. “The neighbors stood at the window and stared,” Janica says. The search also saw her three-year-old brother and 13-year-old sister. The girl, who zealously fights for more climate protection, will keep the experiment occupied for a long time.
Directed by “Black Friday 2019”
But why is Janica the focus of investigators? The track goes back to the night of November 29, 2019. The night before Black Friday, the day of bargains and specials. Shops and pedestrian areas in Augsburg are sprayed with washable chalk. “Do you need that?” standing on the sidewalk. “Don’t buy anything” on the shop window. On the same day, Greenpeace Augsburg committed itself to the spraying operation in a press release.
The next day, Janica goes to a climate show. Until then, she was a pivotal figure in the Augsburg Fridays for Future movement and today, with others, she leads the Augsburg climate camp. “Then a plainclothes police officer approached me at the demonstration and asked if I was involved in the spraying. I said ‘No’.” Then the man took her personal data and photographed her.
Vest raised on the chase video recording
Janika explodes from the accident. Until that night five months later when the police searched her room. “Obviously a surveillance camera recorded the spraying. She is said to have seen a girl who was about the same size as me. She may have been wearing a jacket similar to the one she wore in the demo.” The interrogators told her that this was the reason for the suspicion against her.
Janica says she has nothing to do with Greenpeace Augsburg, which has already claimed responsibility for the accident. “During a house search, I told the police that my daughter was at home at the time of the crime,” her mother adds. “Then I was told what you said didn’t mean anything anyway.”
According to the prosecutor’s office, there was enough suspicion
The Augsburg Prosecutor’s Office has commented only on the incident in principle. “If a home is searched, there must be enough suspicion,” spokesman Andreas Doppler said. And there was “after the first police investigation”.
The district court also approved the search, thus assessing the suspicion as well-founded, Doppler continued. The fact that Janica Bondorff was not part of Greenpeace is no reason for him to suspect that she was one of the culprits. It is not necessarily a member of Greenpeace who sprayed the slogans. Doppler confirmed: “We acted lawfully.”
This was followed by further searches for suspects
Janika Bondorf and other Augsburg climate advocates see things differently. Your criticism is directed to the department of the Criminal Police Office in Augsburg, which is responsible for state security, that is, concerned with politically motivated crimes. There have now been several home inspections, as in Janica’s case.
“There is ongoing and systematic action against climate activists in Augsburg,” says Ingo Pleichmitt, whose home was also searched. Another activist was denied access to a lawyer during the house search. The lawyer confirmed this to BR. “The subject is dissatisfied with not being allowed to make phone calls for the duration of the research,” says the research report.
The Augsburg climate camp is the crux of the problem
The accusations by climate stewards come at a time of growing controversy over the Augsburg climate camp, which has been a model for many other camps in Germany. Mayor Eva Weber has taken legal action several times to clear the camp of tents and wooden pallets in front of the town hall, but has regularly failed. Recently before the Bavarian Administrative Court.
Climate activists seem to have brought together left-wing extremists
Volker Ulrich, a member of the Bundestag and president of CSU-Augsburg, accused the climate camp of supporting a call for donations for the so-called “Red Aid,” “an association that the Office for Protection of the Constitution monitors in the field of left-wing extremism.”
The police headquarters in North Swabia, which is responsible for the security of the state of Augsburg, also defended the measure against Janica, even if the climate camp was not present at the time and the protest was mainly limited to Friday performances. The graffiti revealed a “political motive”. In addition, the Augsburg Regional Court confirmed that the search warrant was lawful.
In Janica’s case, the search turned up nothing. The lawsuit against her was dropped. Her mother asks the authorities to be more sensitive: “Who is a person, how old is he? In any case, proportionality must be maintained with such an intervention.” The accident left scars on Janica. Since then she has been receiving psychotherapy. This is one of the reasons why she only announced the incident now.