Human rights defenders and members of a peace delegation who helped to establish the Defend Kurdistan Initiative were prevented from leaving Germany last week at Dusseldorf Airport. Some members of the delegation were not allowed to leave the country for Iraqi Kurdistan after the questioning that took place.
Other human rights defenders and peace campaigners, as delegates of the Defend Kurdistan Initiative, recently returned from Erbil (Hewlêr) in Iraqi Kurdistan to Germany. However, upon arrival, six German delegates were detained at Frankfurt Airport.
The delegates were reportedly locked in a room for several hours and interrogated individually by airport security officers. The Defend Kurdistan Initiative delegates reacted to the harsh attitude of the German police with a statement they issued inside the airport.
“We went there to fulfil our responsibilities in terms of peace and war in the region and to develop a dialogue between the people and different parties. But, upon our return, we were separated from other passengers and we were interrogated,” said Marlene Foerster, a Defend Kurdistan Initiative delegate who spoke to Yeni Özgür Politika after she was released.
“We were asked about our purpose and reasons for travelling. We were locked inside a separate room for several hours. In total, more than 40 police officers were present there,” she added. She shared her views about the attitude of the German authorities, saying: “Germany does not hesitate to put pressure on people who act peacefully against Turkey’s offensive.”
Stating that they were not informed about their grounds for detention, Foerster said, “We were not allowed to meet with our lawyer but we were allowed to go outside, after two hours of questioning. We were questioned individually. Both our clothes and all our bags were searched. Then, we were interrogated. It did not take long because we refused to provide statements.”