What is pure paranoia

"It's a farce. The pure paranoia"

Criticism of US entry ban for Ilija Trojanow

The writer Ilija Trojanow (picture alliance / dpa / Jens Kalaene)

He is one of the loudest reminders in the NSA scandal - has he been punished for that? The fact is that the USA refused entry to the German writer Ilija Trojanow to attend a meeting of Germanists. Artist colleagues are horrified and Juli Zeh finds clear words.

Even on the day after his rejection, Trojanow does not know why he is not allowed to attend the meeting of American Germanists, as originally planned. In the Brazilian city of Salvador, the German with Bulgarian roots wanted to take his plane to Miami in order to travel on to Denver from there. But already there, his travel plans came to an abrupt end: his passport was initially withdrawn, after 45 minutes he learned that entry into the USA could not take place.

Reasons for the decision were not given to him, says Trojanow on Deutschlandfunk. He could only speculate himself, but actually he didn't want to. "Because that's exactly what it's all about: that we have absolutely no insight into how these authorities work and how they make decisions."

And then the writer has come back to the subject that has been on his mind for so long: the work of the secret services and its consequences for citizens.

Initiator of a petition

Trojanow has been politically active against security legislation in the USA and Europe for years. He is one of the initiators of a petition calling for the German government to respond to the NSA affair. This has now been signed by more than 70,000 people and demonstratively handed over to the Federal Chancellery in Berlin in mid-September.

In 2009, the 48-year-old published the book "Attack on Freedom - Security, the Surveillance State and the Disruption of Civil Rights" together with the writer Juli Zeh.

PEN appeal to the federal government

The writer Juli Zeh (AP) Zeh comments on the report of the refusal of entry against her protest partner on her Facebook page as follows: "Let's put it positively: All of our commitment is having an effect. It is noted. Let us put it negatively: It is a farce. Pure paranoia. People who stand up for civil rights are treated as enemies of the state. "

Michael Kr├╝ger speaks of a "blatant case of breach of law" on Deutschlandradio Kultur. Trojanow's publisher even feels reminded of the Cold War era: "If someone opposes a government measure and is then not allowed to enter the country, it sounds like a case of McCarthyism."

The president of the PEN writers' association, Josef Haslinger, and the other signatories of the petition call on the federal government to clarify the case immediately.

Trojanow, however, does not want to let himself get down and make a new attempt to enter the USA. "I will apply for a visa," he said after his return to Germany.

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