Skip to content or view screen version

News from the Austrian Prisoners

VGT | 25.07.2008 19:27 | Animal Liberation | Ecology | Repression | London | World

Last week we “celebrated” Kevin’s, Jürgen’s and Felix’s birthdays outside the prisons. These were not normal vegan birthday parties.

More info (English solidarity website) and

Sad Birthday Party for Jürgen infornt of the Jail
Sad Birthday Party for Jürgen infornt of the Jail

Chris with his beloved family
Chris with his beloved family

We played lots of loud music on a sound system and ate a piece of vegan birthday cake for each of them. The rest of the cake we froze for when they are released. The atmosphere was withdrawn and sad, inside and out.

The following updates are from recent visits to the prisoners.

Jürgen insists that this grotesque miscarriage of justice will not break him. What he really treasures is receiving and reading information about the many different solidarity actions and animal protection news.

Felix appears calm and collected. He is also interested in receiving as much news as possible from outside. As the chair of the Austrian Vegan Society (VGÖ) he is extremely concerned about the next issue of the magazine. This is an enormous project that he normally orchestrates. Not being permitted to get on with important work is a very frustrating part of being incarcerated for Felix. Another big worry for him is the refusal of the police and prosecution to return confiscated Austrian VGÖ property, especially the membership database, even though the organisation itself is not a suspect in the investigations. Felix is alone in a cell in the same prison as Elmar.

Elmar also has his own cell. He is still dumbfounded by the ridiculousness of the situation. Only being allowed to use the prison gym twice a week, Elmar is finding the lack of sport and movement very tough to bear. He is spending a lot of time learning Turkish.

Between 6 and 7 p.m. is a time that Sabine looks forward to each day. In this hour she gets some comfort from hearing the Solidarity demos outside the Vienna prison. She is missing her human and non-human companions terribly .

Martin is down and frustrated, but holding up. The nights are the worst for him at the moment. He has lost a lot of weight due to the hunger strike. He remains on the prison hospital wing where he is allowed to train and shower alone each day.

Chris, an artist, has lost the motivation to draw or even to write his diary. These were two ways that he was managing to fill some of the long hours, but now the constant fear and worry about being separated from his family seems to be plaguing his every moment. The pain of having recently missed his daughters second birthday is unbearable for him. Apart from missing his family dreadfully and worrying about how this forced separation will affect them, Chris is also deeply concerned about how his family can financially keep their head above water until he is released and able to work again.

"In my freetime I spent every spare minute with my children. Who will jump with them on the trampolin, who will build damms with them in the streams? What can possibly replace the kong walks and hiking tours that we did together? Who will be responsible when my family runs into trouble, financial or emotional and all that longterm?"

The prisoners are spread out in three different prisons. Making sure that all three prisons provide appropriate vegan food is a big concern. While some of the prisons are doing a better job than others, conditions are far from ideal in any of the jails. The Austrian Vegan Society, with assistance from the UK based Vegan Prisoner Support Group, is in the process of nutritionally analysing prisoners food diaries to establish dietary deficiencies and trying to enter into communication with prison officials to improve the situation.


Jan & Sabine &


- Homepage: