Top official from the Syrian-Kurd PYD arrested in Prague

Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-president Salih Muslim gives a press conference, on February 9, 2015 in Paris. (AFP)
Updated 25 February 2018

Top official from the Syrian-Kurd PYD arrested in Prague

ANKARA: A senior member of the main Kurdish party in northern Syria who is wanted by Turkey has been arrested in Prague.
Salih Muslim, the former co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was added to the Turkish interior ministry’s “Red List” of wanted “terrorists” earlier this month. Turkey offered a $1 million reward for his arrest.
He was detained in the Czech capital on Saturday after a request from Ankara, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported.He is accused of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state and is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union.
Turkey says the PYD, which is the most powerful Kurdish group in northern Syria, is also a terrorist organization directly linked to the PKK.
Ankara is expected to file an extradition request for Muslim.
Muslim recently criticized the Turkish offensive against the armed wing of the PYD in Kurdish-held Afrin in Syria.
Turkey also made a request through Interpol in 2016 for Muslim’s arrest on alleged connections to a bombing in Ankara that killed 28 people. The PKK splinter group the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) admitted carrying out the attack and the PYD denied any involvement.
In 2016, the PYD opened several offices in Europe, including Stockholm, Paris and Prague, to establish cooperation with European politicians and gain political support.
Many PYD officials have visited Europe, especially to France, Italy, and Sweden.
The office in Prague closed after just a few months due to the lack of support in the country.
Oytun Orhan, a Syria analyst at ORSAM, a think-tank in Ankara, said the arrest is important in showing that Turkey’s approach to the PYD is recognized by European countries.
“PYD was conducting many political activities in Europe and Prague was one of the first capital cities where it opened an office,” he said. “If these arrests continue and covers other senior officials of PYD, the joint counter-terrorism efforts between Turkey and European countries will take a new momentum.”


Egypt arrests 22 for planned protest over grisly murder case

Updated 1 min 3 sec ago

Egypt arrests 22 for planned protest over grisly murder case

  • The killing of Mahmoud el-Banna has stunned Egypt
  • The teenage boy was fatally stabbed by another boy for defending a girl from sexual harassment

CAIRO: Egypt says it has arrested nearly two dozen people for allegedly trying to incite protests over a grisly murder that’s shocked the country.
Earlier this month, a teenage boy fatally stabbed another boy who was defending a girl from sexual harassment.
The killing of Mahmoud el-Banna has stunned Egypt. Surveys indicate that a vast majority of Egyptian women feel insecure in the streets.
Egypt’s interior ministry says the 22 arrested people intended to provoke a riot outside a courthouse in the Nile Delta. That’s where the murder trial began earlier this week.
The ministry said Tuesday that the arrested men and women are all members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.
It says they had “inciting posters and weapons,” but didn’t specify when or where the arrests took place.