Statements of solidarity for a journalist imprisoned in Iraq

In mid-April, the Iraqi army took a German journalist from Darmstadt on suspicion of terrorism in Sindschar firmly: Supporters are now demanding the release of Marlene Förster and her Slovenian colleague Matej Kavčič.

The journalist Marlene Förster was arrested after Easter on suspicion of terrorism in northern Iraq – together with her Slovenian colleague Matej Kavčič.

According to the Kurdish public relations center Civaka Azad, the 29-year-old was arrested by the Iraqi army on April 20 in Sinjar, northern Iraq. She is being held in a solitary cell at Iraqi intelligence headquarters.

The Federal Foreign Office has now confirmed that it is in contact with the journalist from Darmstadt. The imprisoned Marlene Förster is being “consularly looked after” by the German embassy in Baghdad.

Journalist from Darmstadt was on hunger strike

Civaka Azad said she was accused of “supporting terrorism”. The young woman was on a hunger strike until she spoke to an employee of the German embassy last Thursday.

According to Civaka Azad, Förster and her Slovenian colleague have been researching social developments in Sinjar over the past few months. Since 2014, there have been numerous murders of Yazidis by the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). Both were arrested at an Iraqi army checkpoint. There is still no contact with the Slovenian journalist, Civaka Azad reported at the weekend.

Solidarity action planned in front of the Iraqi consulate in Frankfurt

In an open letter to Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, which Förster’s parents also signed, the Greens politician is asked to campaign intensively for the release of the freelance journalists.

On the day of press freedom on Tuesday, May 3rd, many supporters want to show their solidarity with the journalist. The hashtag #FreeMarleneandMatej calls for a rally in front of the Iraqi consulate in Frankfurt am Main on Twitter.

Protests are also expected to take place in other cities such as Marburg and Berlin on Tuesday.