Salih Muslim to appear in Czech court, amid calls for release

By Rudaw 3 hours ago  26 Febr 2018 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Salih Muslim is set to appear on Tuesday at an initial hearing after being detained by Czech police.Ahmet Necati Bigali, Turkey’s Ambassador to Prague, told Haber Turk that Salih Muslim will go to court tomorrow.

He noted that Turkey submitted documents to the Czech government on Sunday, but they have not been able to finish investigation because of the weekend.Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim already has legal representation in the Czech Republic after being arrested on Sunday, according to his brother.”Since he holds Finnish residency permit, we called the Finnish government, too,” added Mohammed Muslim, the brother of Salih Muslim told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Monday.Turkey’s justice ministry says it has started efforts for Muslim to be extradited to Ankara.
“The arrest will not be accepted because it was done upon a call from Turkey. He is a Syrian citizen,” said Mohammed Muslim.
The brother confirmed earlier reports that Salih Muslim was in Prague to attend a conference on the Middle East. “Turkish intelligence took his photographs and demanded for him to be arrested. We are wanting him to be released,” said Mohammed Muslim.
Turkish Ministry of Justice said that they have started working for extradition of Salih Muslim on Monday.

“Upon knowing that the person in question was found in the Czech, Turkey has demanded extradition,” stated the Turkish ministry.

Czech Justice Department spokesman Tereza Schejbalova announced on Monday morning that “the Ministry of Justice has not received extradition requests yet,” according to state media. “We, as Syrian Democratic Council, reject this arrest which is incompatible to all international laws and norms and call on the international community and human rights organizations to do their moral duty to put pressure on the Czech government to preserve the safety of Mr. Muslim,” read their statement.

The Syrian Democratic Council is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“We also stress that the arrest of Mr. Salih Muslim will further complicate the Syrian scene and negatively affect security and stability in the country,” the statement added. We also call on Czech government to protect and release him immediately.

“This arrest should not be based on a suspicious deal with Turkish intelligence, as its [Turkish] history is full of such conspiracies and arrests that are contrary to human rights.”

The Change Movement (Gorran) faction in the Kurdistan Region parliament wrote a letter to the presidency of the parliament on Monday. It requested the summoning of the Czech consul general in Erbil to provide an explanation for the arrest of Salih Muslim.


Earlier this month, Turkey announced a $1 million bounty for the former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling Kurdish party in Rojava, northern Syria, and added him to the Interior Ministry’s ‘Red List.’

Ankara alleges that the PYD is a Syrian branch of the PKK, a named terror group. The PYD is not a named terrorist organization in the European Union, and its member countries have previously rejected such extradition requests.

The PYD, which advocates the ideology of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, has maintained that it is a distinct organization.  Salih, a 67-year-old native of Kobane, founded the PYD in 2003 and served as co-chair of the party form 2013 to 2017, when he stepped down.
He has been a harsh critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Saturday, he had tweeted images of children reportedly killed in Turkey’s operation in Afrin and captioned it “Turkey president – child killer.”
Turkey’s ‘Red List’ is commonly called the ‘terror list.’ Last updated at 2:55 p.m. after the hearing was moved to Tuesday.