KCDK-E: Sweden wants to sacrifice Kurds to Turkey

In the run-up to Erdogan's visit to Stockholm, Kurdish activist Zinar Bozkurt was taken into custody in Sweden. If extradited to Turkey, he faces torture and a long prison sentence.

Kurdish activist Zinar Bozkurt was detained in Sweden at five o'clock on Friday morning. The 26-year-old has been living in Sweden for eight years. In his asylum application, he had claimed to be persecuted in Turkey because of his identity as a Kurd, his homosexuality and his commitment to the HDP. The migration authority argued otherwise and was proven right in court. The decisive factor was that Zinar Bozkurt has links to the PKK, according to SÄPO. During interrogation, the Swedish security police accused Bozkurt of sympathising with the HDP and the YPG/YPJ, as well as posting on digital media about the fight against ISIS in Kobanê.

Bozkurt remains in custody. If deported to Turkey, he faces torture and a long prison sentence. His detention came a week before a planned visit to Sweden by Turkish President Erdogan. The meeting is supposed to be about Sweden's compliance with its NATO accession commitments. The agreement reached between Turkey, Sweden and Finland at the NATO summit in Madrid in June included the extradition of a number of named individuals. Zinar Bozkurt is not on the list Turkey has submitted to Sweden, but is one of the cases that has attracted a lot of media attention in both Sweden and Turkey.


The Kurdish European Confederation KCDK-E issued a statement on Friday calling on Sweden not to sacrifice the Kurds to Turkish blackmail for NATO accession. The statement said:

"Sweden is committing a grave legal mistake if the Kurds are sacrificed to a deal for NATO accession. It is a fact that Zinar Bozkurt faces a long prison sentence and severe torture if he is extradited to the fascist Turkish state. His deportation contradicts Swedish migration law and international agreements.

With this arrest, the Swedish government wants to sacrifice a young Kurd in the run-up to dictator Erdogan's visit announced for next week. It is common knowledge that Erdogan is equipping ISIS terrorists in every form, not only in the Middle East, but also against the people of Europe and Africa. We condemn the fact that the Swedish government nevertheless wants to sacrifice Zinar under various pretexts. We demand that this mistake be refrained from. Instead of standing up for the independence of the judiciary and democratic standards, the Swedish government is bowing to the inhumane demands of a dictator.

The despotic Turkish state is supported militarily and politically by NATO in its war policy against the Kurds and the opposition. Without this support, the Turkish regime could not continue its war a day longer. Therefore, the Swedish state should make demands on NATO and not negotiate with a dictator. Human rights and freedoms must not be trampled on in order to join NATO. Sweden must reverse this decision immediately.

We call on all parties, human rights organisations and the people of Sweden to put pressure on the Swedish government not to deport Zinar Bozkurt."