International press statement: The magazine “FOCUS” and disinformation

A reference to UNITER e.V. was made in an article published by the magazine “Focus” on Nov. 9th, 2018. The day before, Uniter e.V. received an inquiry by the magazine which was answered appropriately and promptly. These information have obviously not been taken into account when the article was written.

In the meantime, UNITER e.V. has directly contacted police and military officials as well as the responsible public prosecutor. It was unanimously stated that the accusations stated in the article were put together out of different proceedings and thus create an overall picture that basically does not withstand any serious investigation.

UNITER e.V. was explicitly told by the police and military officials as well as the prosecution entities that there are no facts against Uniter e.V. and that this article is based on pure speculation.

We hereby contradict the incorrect reporting by the magazine “FOCUS” and clarify in detail:

  • Franco A. was not and is not a member of Uniter e.V.
  • During the investigation of the case of Franco A. a member of UNITER e.V. was interrogated, but only to contribute to a complete clarification of the issue.
  • There is no connection between Uniter e.V. and the prepper scene. Should individual members be active there as well, this is beyond the knowledge of Uniter e.V.
  • In principle however, it should be pointed out that the prepper scene is not illegal, as it essentially only refers to the brochure of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Management as well as to the recommendations of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
  • The statutes of the non-profit organisation Uniter e.V. can be viewed publicly.
  • If it turns out that extremist thoughts are shared by members, we clearly distance ourselves form these persons. Uniter e.V. pledges itself to the Basic Law and Human Rights.
  • The chat groups mentioned in the “Focus” article are by no means chat groups authorized by Uniter e.V. or operated by Uniter e.V.
  • We expressly point out that there are no connections between the so-called “Gruppe Nord” and UNITER e.V.
  • UNITER e.V. does not own any weapon depots and UNITER e.V. does not have weapons on its own. 

In order to prevent irregularities, UNITER e.V. has always cooperated transparently and communicated on equal terms with the relevant authorities since its founding. The FOCUS article intentionally discredits well-functioning authorities such as the German Military Counter-Intelligence Service MAD. This is not acceptable to us as we appreciate the work of this professional and democratic organization as the corner pillar against any sort of extremism in the German Armed Forces.

Professional research that accurately reflects facts is the backbone of serious journalism. The magazine FOCUS, always promising “facts, facts, facts”, had admitted itself to this. It is totally unintelligible to us that such a well-known and well-respected magazine like FOCUS by this publication deliberately spreads improper assumptions and speculations. As we consider this a deliberate misinformation, we reserve the right, after consultation with all the authorities concerned, to take appropriate legal action.