Dutch journalist Fréderike Geerdink says she was taken by the police in the Kurdish Autonomous Region in Iraq. On Twitter, Geerdink says she is being expelled from the region.
According to Geerdink, she had almost reached the north of Syria when she was intercepted by the local police in front of the border. The agents took her to the airport of the Iraqi city of Erbil. “Erdogans arm turns out to be very long,” she writes, referring to the Turkish leaders sphere of influence.
She thinks shes being evicted for being “persona non grata”, someone who isnt welcome because of her “sharp pen”. “It is extremely sad that the authorities in the Kurdish Autonomous Region are so afraid of a woman with a pen. And also for their own journalists, who are detained more often than ever,” Geerdink writes on Twitter.
Thomas Bruning, general secretary of the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) also responded. “Deeply sad that, due to influence Turkey, Fréderike is now no longer able to do her job even in Iraq,” he states in a tweet.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells ANP news agency that the consul general in Erbil has close contact with the journalist. “In contact with the authorities of the region, we expressed our concerns about Geerdinks expulsion,” says the spokeswoman.
In 2015, Geerdink, who writes a lot about the Kurdish issue, was detained in Turkey for some time. She was detained because she was in forbidden Kurdish territory.
In January of that year, she had also been arrested. She was then accused of making propaganda for the PKK, a Kurdish organization that is on the European Union terror list.