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Jailed Austrian animal rights campaigner to run for Greens

barnacle | 01.09.2008 22:04 | Animal Liberation | Repression | World

The leader of the Austrian Green Party has asked an imprisoned animal rights campaigners to run as an independent candidate for the party in the 28 September election. -- 1st September 2008

Dr Martin Balluch is one of nine Austrian animal rights prisoners who have spent 100 days on remand custody without concrete charge or evidence. Today the leader of the Austrian Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen, visited Dr Balluch in prison to invite him to run as an independent candidate for their party. Balluch will be elected at the Green Party congress on 7 September. Van der Bellen said, "I have invited Balluch to run as a candidate for the Green party, he will be given a place high up on the list of candidates."

He went on to say that "this unbelievably precise thinking intellectual has been held now for over 100 days in prison. The Mafia-law being used against animal protectionists goes far outside what is admissible."

Van der Bellen described Balluch's candidateship as "An expression of appreciation for the work of non-governmental organisations."

Dr Balluch is an established intellectual who worked alongside physicist Stephen Hawking for eight years at Cambridge University. He said of his imprisonment, "Sitting here in my jail cell it's hard not to think of Guantanamo Bay. I am not a criminal. The government just don't like change and that is what our organization represent to them. They want to destroy us."

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