The ordeal of Bernard Rappaz, part 4

We bring you the fourth part of Ruth's chronology on the hunger strike of Bernard Rappaz (BR) and the activities surrounding this affair. If you have any questions for BR, please feel free to write to us. we will forward them.

06/26/11 Letter to Sandra: Go to Zurich tomorrow, members event Legalize it! Bring part 3, The ordeal of hemp farmer Barnard Rappaz.

26.06.11 Card with hemp plant from BR: Good day Ruth, thank you very much for your package. Do you know of any international petitions? In France they are talking a lot now about legalizing hemp. One day hemp will be free. That is clear. The question is: when?

11.07.11 Letter to BR: Yes, there is international protest. Inserts: Grow Magazine July/August 2011, Petition to End the Global Drug War. And, in the same issue: Global Marijuana March 2011. Hemp Journal June 2011: Hemp Day has run.

05.08.11 NZZ: Rappaz complaint approved. BR does not have to pay the costs for his house arrest himself. The cantonal court of Valais has approved his complaint against a bill for 44,000 francs, which had been issued by the cantonal government. Rappaz was under house arrest from July 21 to August 26, 2010. Security personnel had to be deployed to guard him, which among other things caused the high costs. Tages-Anzeiger: Affair Rappaz - Rappaz does not have to pay costs for house arrest. Aargauerzeitung: House arrest - No costs for Valais hemp farmer.

17.08.11 Luzernerz., NZZ, Aargauerz., Reussbote: Sion - Rappaz on hunger strike again. He is of the opinion that he is entitled to a vacation of 24 hours already now and not only in September, since he has served one third of his prison sentence. The point of contention is the 37 days of his house arrest during pre-trial detention in 2006, which the penal authorities do not want to recognize.

08/29/11 Tel. from BR to Sandra. There is: www.tapagoille.blogspot.com, mais c'est en français…

31.08.11 Tel. from Sandra, she has received mail from BR: On August 18, the National Council rejected force-feeding. 12.09.11 Tel. from Sandra. Received letter from BR. Since September 8, the hunger strike is over. It lasted 26 days.

17.09.11 BR would have his first leave for 24 hours.

21.09.11 Tel. from Maggie: BR had no vacation. On 9/14 there was a urine test. He was THC positive. Instead of vacation he got five days “Cachot” - that is a cell in the basement.

29.09.11 Tel. to Sandra. She received a six-page letter from BR yesterday. He had drunk hemp tea from the Coop. He had stated in the urine test. The case is being investigated (see page three right).

03.10.11 Letter to BR: Today we have 60 years of hemp prohibition in Switzerland. That is crazy! And it is not over yet!

04.10.11 Card from BR. Salü Ruth, already 60 years!!! That is quite crazy!

20.10.11 Tel. from Sandra. She got mail from BR. He has a 24 hour vacation on 10/22.

11/11/11 Tel. to Sandra. Yes, BR had his vacation. Work was being done for the doc film. A book is also in the making.

07.12.11 Package and letter to BR: Salü Bernard, how are you? I work every day for the hemp policy! We want a change!

27.12.11 Tel. from Sandra. BR visited her over Christmas.

29.12.11 Letter from BR, written on 26.12. It goes well, thank you for your package, great! Your work for hemp politics is very wonderful. I also always work for hemp, with my book and a documentary film, 120 minutes. After 2013, I present the two projects. In 2012, in Valais, it is possible to have four hemp plants, from 18 years. Love greetings, Bernard.

With this fourth part, we conclude our series.

News from the jail

On the weekend of September 17/18, 2011, Bernard Rappaz would have had his first 24-hour outing after serving the first third of his sentence. Before that, however, there was a quick urine sample, which promptly turned out to be “positive.

The inmate claims to have complied with all the conditions and to be pot-free. The authorities are willing to have the hemp tea, which is legally sold and enjoyed, tested by Coop for traces of THC, but nevertheless order five days in the bunker instead of a “first exit”.

I'm sure the THC content of said tea bags is not “excessive”, but that's where the problem lies: The highly sensitive (THC-degradation-traces-in-the-urine) urine tests indicate a “positive” result far too quickly, which is very concerning given the drastic penalties that can follow a “positive” UP! Actual wrong judgments to the disadvantage of the suspects are so downright pre-programmed.

So if these UP tests run the risk of showing false results, whereby innocent people who have not smoked pot are exposed (and punished!) as “guilty” - and this probably happens more often than many think - our authorities should have the insight to do without urine tests for possible cannabis consumption in the future. I think so.

As for the “Rappaz case” in particular: Apart from the humiliation of a UP and the risk of a false result, I don't understand why this control was “necessary” at all with Bernard. He's been a hemp activist for around 40 years, he's approaching 60 lenze, so “youth protection” can't be the issue either. The authorities themselves know best what their prisoner has gone through in the last two years alone, and that he will never renounce hemp even because of five days in the bunker. So why all the harassment?

Bernard Rappaz is an exemplary inmate (except for possible hunger strikes for unfair decisions) who met all the special conditions for his first exit and was still punished for it. This is not only mean, it is absolutely counterproductive pedagogically! In an institution that is supposed to punish injustice, it must not happen that good will is punished!

How much longer can our society find such inhumane “educational measures” good?

In 60 years of hemp prohibition in Switzerland, repression has truly taken on bizarre features. Conclusion: Everything must become better again! The authorities don't want to talk about hemp? Good. Let's talk about (the sense and nonsense of) urine tests!

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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