Czech Republic: Extradition case against Salih Muslim officially closed
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Authorities in the Czech Republic stopped extradition proceedings against the former leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) following his brief detention last month, a state attorney’s office said on Monday.
A spokesperson for the Czech state attorney’s office said the decision to end the extradition process meant the case against former PYD leader Salih Muslim was now closed.
“The state attorney has halted the proceedings because the person is not on the Czech Republic’s territory and thus the extradition process cannot continue,” Reuters quoted spokesperson Stepanka Zenklova.
Following his release from Czech detention last February, Muslim vowed that he would remain in the European Union and cooperate with authorities in further proceedings.
His lawyer, Miroslav Krutina, confirmed that the state attorney’s announcement meant his client was “no longer bound by a pledge to remain in the EU,” and that “he is free.”
Ankara, who had requested the Czech to arrest Muslim, disagreed with the release of the Syrian Kurdish leader and claimed the decision was one that “supported terrorism.”
Turkey views the PYD, and its military wing, the People’s/Women’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), as a “terrorist” group for its alleged ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkey had also asked Germany and Sweden, two countries where Muslim traveled following his release in the Czech Republic, to detain him.
Turkey’s pursuit of the former PYD leader coincided with Ankara’s military offensive against the YPG/YPJ in Syrian Kurdistan’s Afrin region which has since seen Turkish forces and Syrian rebel allies take over the center of the city.