UK minister criticised for criminalising fighters against ISIS

Over 50 people, including Noam Chomsky and international fighters who joined the Kurds in the struggle against ISIS, signed open letter to UK Home Secretary criticising his attempt to criminalise those who fought against ISIS.

Over 50 internationalist fighters, families of fighters who lost their life fighting ISIS in Rojava, intellectuals and academics have written an open letter to the British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, criticising his plans to prosecute UK citizens who remain in Syria. 

Last week Javid told UK citizens who are still in Syria to leave within 28 days or face a 10-year prison sentence should they try to return to Britain. 

The signatories of the letter, a third of them British citizens, denounced the minister for treating fighters against the Islamic State exactly as DAESH mercenaries. They said that the minister is in fact trying to apply the same anti-jihadist law to both groups. "Using a law - wrote the internationalists - supposedly created to defend against ISIS, you are criminalising as 'terrorists' those who have given more than any other British citizen in this struggle. Just two months ago the world celebrated ISIS's defeat as a military force. That victory - added the letter - was led by the women of the YPJ along with the other Kurds, Arabs and Christians of North-east Syria - the  democratic, women-led autonomous region more commonly known as Rojava."

The letter is signed by Dirk and Sofia Campbell, father and sister of internationalists YPJ fighter, Anna Campbell, who lost her life in an attack by the Turkish forces in Afrin in March, last year. 

The letter is also signed by Vasiliki and Chris Scurfield, parents of Kosta Scurfield, another UK internationalist who fought with the YPG. Other signatories inlcudes Jane Lndon, mother of Ollie Hall who lost his life in Raqqa, trying to save a child from a booby-trapped house; Angie Blanning, mother of Jac Holmes who also lost his life in Raqqa. 

The letter is signed by some 50 people including intellectual Noam Chomsky and criminal defence lawyer Raj Chada, as well as a number of academics.