Kurdish activist Ferit Çelik arrested in Sweden on German arrest warrant

Ferit Çelik was reportedly arrested in Sweden on the basis of a German arrest warrant and is in custody pending extradition. The Kurdish association NCDK-Sweden is calling for his immediate release.

36-year-old Kurdish activist Ferit Çelik was arrested in Sweden on the basis of a German arrest warrant and is in custody pending extradition. The Kurdish Democratic Community Center in Sweden (NCDK-Sverige) is demanding his immediate release, stating that Çelik lives in Sweden and has committed no criminal offense there or in Germany.

According to the information available to NCDK, the 36-year-old, accompanied by his lawyer, responded to a summons from the Swedish Security Service last Friday. An interview lasting just under 45 minutes took place at the Security Service office in Solna, near Stockholm. Shortly after leaving the office, the lawyer's car was stopped by three police cars on the way to the lawyer's office and Ferit Çelik was arrested by plainclothes police officers. A court hearing was held on Monday. It turned out that the arrest was made at the request of Germany. Çelik remains in custody pending a decision on his extradition.

The NCDK stated that Çelik will be imprisoned in Germany if he is extradited and that there is a risk of extradition to Turkey. "We know that Ferit Çelik's extradition to Germany has no legal basis. Ferit Çelik has only used his basic rights and participated in political and cultural activities for the Kurdish people, he has not committed any illegal acts. Because he also exercised these rights in Turkey, he was charged and had to flee to Sweden, where he was granted asylum," the statement said.

The association also criticized the dramatic staging of the arrest and spoke of an arbitrary hunt against a Kurd who committed no crime. According to the NCDK, Ferit Çelik's arrest was carried out as part of the Swedish security authorities' long-standing fixation on the Kurdish diaspora: "There are many examples of the increasing criminalization of civil society diaspora groups by the security forces. We call on the public to support the demand for the release of Ferit Çelik and to condemn the criminalization campaign waged by the authorities against the Kurdish community without an ethical and legal basis."