Help us get Markéta and Mirek back home

Two czech humanitarian volunteers have been jailed in Turkey last autumn because of allegedly supporting terrorism. Their families are asking the publicfor help with the goal of getting them back home.

On the 13. November 2016 have Markéta Všelichová (24) and Miroslav Farkas (31) been detained while crossing the Turkey-Iraq border via the official Habur border crossing. The official Turkish reason for detaining two Czech citizens is an allegation of participating in terrorist activity in Northern Syria. The true reason for Markéta’s and Mirek’s journey to Iraq was however a humanitarian project of a mobile hospital for the people of war torn Northern Syria. They had arranged a meeting in Iraq, where there should have been discussed the details about medicaments and equipment supply into the prepared mobile hospital. This meeting has however never happened because of the participants being detained. After the detention, Markéta and Mirek had been moved to the Sirnak jail, at the end of January they have been moved to the Van jail where they are currently waiting for a court process, which is about to start on the 10. May 2017.

With the outburst of the European refugee crisis had Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas independently made the decision to travel to the war shaken Northern Syria. The primary goal of their travels was to map the situation, so that the public got actual and objective information about the life of the local population under the conditions of the armed conflict. Both have held public lectures in the Czech Republic, have spoken to the media and have shared their experiences through the social networks.

In the war stricken areas, the have observed the enormous problem of lacking medical aid and an insufficient medical institutions network. During his stay in Northern Syria in the first half of 2016, Mirek set the realization of a mobile hospital as one of his goals. Such a hospital would have helped to save many lives, because so far, the wounded had been transported to faraway hospitals and had often died during the transport. In the beginning of 2016 Markéta has founded her own organization to help the war victims VOWA (Victims of Wars Aid z.s.).

The roads of Markéta and Mirek have conjoined in august 2016 when the already experienced Mirek (he has spent a year and a half on Haiti after the earthquake digging wells, for instance) joined the VOWA. The shared interest in the lives of the war area citizens has led to them participating in the, now for them common, organization. Both had been working without any reward expectations and both had covered all the necessary expenditures from their own savings.

Markéta and Mirek have managed to prepare the project, at the first glance unrealistic, for its launch. The mobile hospital has been covered in the points of financing, professional staff, medicaments supply and even professional consultations. In order to keep the involved people and organizations, which are currently still active in Iraq and Syria, safe, it is not possible to mention concrete information.


Marcela and Radovan Všelichovi, the parents of Markéta, have requested a visit of their daughter via the Czech embassy in Ankara and were allowed to actually visit Markéta in December 2016 in Sirnak. Mr. Miroslav Farkas, the elder, has visited his son in Van in March 2017.

Markéta’s parents’ journey to Sirnak has been successful mainly thanks to the help of the consular department of the Czech embassy in Ankara. Multiple meetings with local lawyers have taken place during the journey and after the parents’ return to the Czech Republic it was possible to arrange the legal representation for the both young people via correspondence. In accordance with the lawyers’ advice, cases of the both young people have not been separated for strategic reasons. After Markéta and Mirek had signed a notary confirmed power of attorney, Radovan Všelicha has signed with the lawyers a contract about legal representation of Markéta and Mirek during the investigation and the court process. Shortly after signing the contract it was necessary to cover the costs in a total sum of 322.461 CZK. These costs have been covered by Markéta’s parents supported by the nearest friends and certain persons, who don’t wish to be named.

Mirek’s and Markéta’s friends, who support them in their uneasy situation, don’t want the financial burden to lie entirely on the shoulders of Mirek’s and Markéta’s parents. And the costs so far covered don’t seem to be the final sum, there certainly will be more travel costs, interpretative services costs and further more. Therefore have they contacted the Karel Janeček Endowment Fund (http://nfpomoci.cz/) and in cooperation have launched the project for Markéta’s and Mirek’s support.

We are trying to avoid medialization after two negotiations for Markéta’s and Mirek’s release. Because of this reason we are limiting the releasing of detailed information in the media. All the available information can be found on the website www.mirekamarketa.cz or on the social media. We thank you for your understanding and most of all, we thank all of you, who decide to help Markéta and Mirek secure their early and safe return to the home country.

The families and friends of Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas, march 2017