Briton who joined Kurds to fight ISIS faces terrorism charges

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Former YPG fighter Aiden Aslin. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

QAMISHLO – Kurds launched a petition on Change.org for British citizen Aiden Aslin, who previously went out to Syria to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), and now is threatened with terrorism charges, after returning to the United Kingdom in February.

Aiden, a 22-year-old care worker from Newark, Nottinghamshire, has been arrested upon his return to the UK after joining the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and fighting against ISIS for ten months in northern Syria. This despite the fact that YPG forces are backed by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), the same coalition that is supported by the British government.

Upon his return to Britain in February 2016, Aiden was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2006.

Speaking to ARA News, Chris Scurfield, the father of Konstandinos Scurfield, a former British Royal Marine who died fighting ISIS, said: “Aiden is amongst a growing band of westerners making a stand against and supporting war against Daesh [ISIS] in the defence of Rojava, Northern Syria. He has followed in the footsteps of my son Erik Konstandinos Scurfield (Shehid Kemal) in Rojava, Macer Gifford, Joe Ackerman and Jac Holmes among many others.”

So far, Aiden is the only foreign fighter that has been under investigation by the UK police.

“Joe and Jac arrived back in Britain last month without any charge, adding to the absurd nature of Aiden’s Nottinghamshire police’s search for an offence they can charge Aiden with. It seems that the Nottinghamshire anti-terror police are so poorly informed and racist that they cannot tell the difference between Kurdish people from different countries,” he added.

Mr Jenrick, Member of Parliament, said that he shared the frustration felt by Aiden and his family. “I have been in contact with the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright who supervises the Director of Public Prosecutions, asking him to give the matter his urgent consideration,” he said. “I am also asking urgent questions of Nottinghamshire Police. Aiden needs to be able to get on with his life.”

Following a second court hearing on 17th May 2016, no decision was made. Currently, Aiden has to report three times a week to a police station and has a charge of terrorism hanging over his head. Aiden is now waiting until the 20/07/2016 for his third bail hearing.

“The only crime will be if Aiden goes to prison for fighting against evil [ISIS] because he couldn’t sit by and watch innocent people being killed,” Aiden’s mother said. “In addition, it is incredible that despite questioning Aiden on his way out to Syria the police allowed him to go and indeed – wished him luck.”

“Clearly no evidence has been found to charge Aiden with anything yet the police are continuing to waste British tax payer’s money trying to find evidence of ‘terrorism’,” she added.

So far, more than 1,400 people have signed a petition calling on the British police to stop the prosecution of the British ex-YPG fighter.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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