| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Sweden charges suspected fundraiser for Kurdish militants

On Friday, Swedish prosecutors filed charges against a man for fundraising activities in support of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The man is a Turkish national in his 40s who suspected of aggravated extortion, serious gun crimes and attempted funding of terrorism.

“The investigation has given support for suspicions that the man was acting on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party,” prosecutors said in a statement.

According to the indictment, the man also maintained contact with another Turkish national who was sentenced to prison in Germany in 2016 for fundraising for the PKK.

The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by Ankara, the European Union and the United States.

In December 2022, Sweden extradited a man who had been convicted of being a PKK member in Turkey before seeking asylum abroad. On Wednesday, Sweden’s Supreme Court approved the extradition of another convicted PKK supporter to Turkey.
The charges come amid Sweden’s bid to join NATO, which requires unanimous support from member countries.

Turkey has long held out on supporting Sweden’s membership in the military alliance, accusing Stockholm of failing to crack down on PKK members and extradite them.

Many PKK supporters have found refuge in Sweden and in recent months have staged protests against joining NATO.

Sweden and Turkey are due to resume talks over Sweden’s NATO membership bid next week.

Both NATO itself and Sweden have expressed their desire for Swedish membership to be formalized before the alliance summit in Lithuania in July.

  • DW