Hella Mewis, the art conservative who was kidnapped in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Monday, has been released by the Iraqi security forces, said Iraqi Armed Forces Joint Operations Command spokesman General Yahya Rasool. .
“The security forces released German activist Hella Mewis,” General Rasool said in a message released on Friday on his official Twitter account. The Iraqi commando spokesman for joint operations has given no further details regarding the release of the German citizen.
Zikra Sarsam, an Iraqi activist and friend of Mewis, has told the DPA that she has preliminary information from the Iraq command for joint operations that Mewis has been released by the Iraqi security forces. Mewis was kidnapped by several armed men on Monday at 8:00 p.m. when she was on Abú Nawas Street near the Bait Tarkib art cooperative where she works.
Mewis was born in Berlin and has been living in Baghdad for several years, where he worked for the Bait Tarkib Cooperative, which aims to promote the work of young Iraqi artists. Political Islamism has seen a resurgence in Iraq since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, demanding that non-religious art be viewed as “haram” (forbidden).
Najem Wali, an Iraqi writer living in Germany, described Mewis in an interview with “Der Spiegel” magazine in 2017 as a woman who spent most of her time using gestures such as visiting Iraqi cafes or making decisions against Iraqi conventions wear down. In 2016 Mewis organized an exhibition of cyclists on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad. Mewis has long established political contacts in the Iraqi capital.