The Ermittlungsausschuss Berlin (legal team) is a legal support group. It has been around for more than 30 years. We take care of people who get arrested at left-wing demonstrations and actions. If people call us and tell us the names of the arrested persons, we bring them in contact with lawyers, so nobody gets ‚lost‘ in pre-trial custody. If nevertheless somebody remains in custody, we take care of the prisoners . We offer legal advice on all questions surrounding repression during our consultation hours, every Tuesday from 8pm until 9pm. If you need counseling in English, please bring somebody for translation or let us know beforehand, so that we can organize someone who speaks English.

Organizing a demonstration

As the Ermittlungsausschuss one of our main tasks is to support demonstrations via telephone. We collect the names of arrested people to ensure that nobody gets lost in pre-trial confinement and to make sure that nobody has to face the custodial judge without a lawyer.
In order to do so, it is crucial that we know about a demonstration/ an action plenty of time ahead. We are people who do lots of other stuff outside our work in the Ermittlungsausschuss, ranging from paid work to other political activities.

That means: if you don’t let us know in time about your demonstration, it might be the case that we simply don’t have enough time and possibly can’t take care of detainees appropriately . In the worst case, people are sent to pre-trialcustody without having had contact with one of our lawyers. You, as organizers of a demonstration are responsible to inform us in time.

That’s why:

Come to our consultation-hours early , not just one or two weeks in advance.

Don’t call, don’t write emails, but come by in person. Then we can talk about everything else here.

Already bring  a contact-telephone number with wich we can reach you at the demonstration.

Think about how you as a group/organizing committee can look after people who are affected by repression beforehand. We can give you some support for that.
We are aware, that this is impossible in case of spontaneous demonstrations. In that case, please write as quickly as possible via email (don’t forget to encrypt the mail!) AND leave a message on our telephone answering machine (don’t forget to leave a contact number). If there is still enough time, it’s always the best to come to our counseling hours. We will do our best to take care of the demonstration.
Thank you.
Your Ermittlungsausschuss Berlin.



On your way to the protest

  • When you go to a protest it’s best to do so with others. This is safer, and also more fun. Make sure to coordinate meeting points in case you get lost, or if you’re not too familiar with the surroundings.
  • Don’t have contact books on you. Because you might encounter police pre-checks, be mindful of what you have in your bag (Knives, pepper spray, …). Don’t take alcohol or drugs!
  • If you are arrested your home may be searched. Make sure not to have incriminating things around (drugs, weapons, or other illegal things).
  • If there are skirmishes with the cops, stay together, create chains (hook your arms together so you can’t be pulled away from your neighbours). If you panic and run away you will make people around you nervous too and the cops have an easier time picking you out of the crowd!
  • Try to be aware of where medics around you are. Be sure to protect medics that are busy helping injured people.
  • Tell the people you’re going to the protest with your name, address, and birthday. In case any of you get arrested you can directly tell us.

What does the EA do when you report a name

It’s okay to call us about an arrested friend and comrade after a protest. This way you will have calmed down a bit again, or maybe even heard from them.

In some cases the police will “only” try to establish identity and you will see your friend again after 1-2 hours (released from the cop van). Wait and see if the cops are driving off with arrested people.

When you’re sure that one of your friends hasn’t come home after a demo or they haven’t shown up at a pre-arranged meeting point you should call the EA Berlin: 030 69 22222. When you call us we will take down the person’s name, birthday, official address. We will then inform a laywer to get in touch with the police to inquire about the arrested person. This can only happen after the cops have finished all their paperwork and registered the person in their system. This can take more than a few hours!

If your friend was arrested in the evening they might only be processed the next day (during normal “business hours”). The laywers will then be informed about the criminal charge (“Tatvorwurf”), and what further steps will be taken. If additional legal support is needed the laywers will take care of that and communicate with us. The EA can then inform you about the arrest.

When you are being arrested

  • Try to communicate your name, birthday, and legal address to people around you who might be able to report them to us later.
  • Don’t tell the cops anything more than your name, legal address, birth day, birth place, and nationality
  • Don’t say anything else to them!
  • Don’t make a statement, no matter what they try to tell you. Both in the transport as in jail, it’s your right to stay quiet and you’re not incriminating yourself or others.
  • Don’t sign anything
  • Ask the cops the reason for your arrest
  • Try to call the EA to report your wareabouts to us and friends who may have checked in already.
  • When the cops try to take identifying details (pictures, fingerprints, weight, special body features, and dna samples) be sure to object to this, and make sure the cops record this to their log. Don’t willingly agree to give the cops anything and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING!
  • By the end of the next day the cops will have to let you go or present you to a judge.
  • If it’s looking like you won’t be released quickly (for example you are taken to a police station), or you’re presented to a judge, insist on a laywer to support you. The EA will be able to refer you one.
  • Be sure to remain silent in front of the judge too. You still have the same rights. Don’t make a statement!

When you’re released

  • Report to the EA, even if you’ve previously not called us. Maybe someone else has.
  • Write a log from record as soon as possible.

When you’re doing support

  • When someone was arrested we need the following details
    • Name, legal address, birthday
    • As accurate as possible account of the arrest
    • An update when they’ve been released by the cops
  • When you have witnessed an arrest, try to capture a log from memory as soon as possible and bring it to us.

When your home is being searched

There’s an external resource (in German) by carambolage