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British hero fighting for Kurds charged with terrorism watch

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    This is an outrage of the first order.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...g-against-isis

    It's also utterly illogical. How can a man who is fighting as part of Kurdish ground forces that are receiving air support of Royal Air Force jets, training from US special forces and weapons from Germany, be considered as a supporter of terrorism?

    Our Kurdish brothers and sisters of the YPG are not terrorists, they are heroes who have been part of a broader Kurdish fight against decades of oppression; first in defence of their villages during Saddam Hussein's racist war of genocide against the Kurds. Then later against Sunni fundamentalists (many of whom were dregs of the Ba'athist regime) of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and of course also Turkey and particularly the more recent theocratic madmen of Erdogan and his AKP Party.

    Furthermore, this charge seems to be extremely legally dubious. He is charged under section 6 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which outlaws giving training that will be used to support etc etc acts of terror. Section 20 of that act defines acts of terror as being acts taken for the purposes of terror, as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000 with particular reference to section 1(5).

    Section 1(5) of the Terrorism Act 2000 defines an act of terror as encompassing acts for the benefit of a proscribed (banned) organisation. The YPG is not a proscribed organisation under the UK law. The PKK is, but the YPG is not.

    The earlier subsection of section 1 defines acts of terror as serious violence, serious damage to property, endangerment of life, disruption of electronic systems etc etc where the act is designed to;

    (1) Influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
    (2) done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause

    It's hard to see how the YPG's acts would meet the first limb (s(1)(b), influencing the government); the YPG's acts of violence are not undertaken to influence the UK government, or intimidate the public or a section of the public.

    Anyway, boo to the CPS! There was pressure from "certain sections" of the community to charge those fighting for the Kurds because they said it was "unfair" and "one-sided" if those who were fighting for ISIS, Al-Qaeda and various Islamist groups (some of which enjoyed mainstream support within certain communities within the UK) were charged while those who were joining groups fighting these Islamist groups were not. This is pandering; we should not be bashful about saying Islamist groups are bad, and the Kurdish YPG and Pesh are good.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    This is an outrage of the first order.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...g-against-isis

    It's also utterly illogical. How can a man who is fighting as part of Kurdish ground forces that are receiving air support of Royal Air Force jets, training from US special forces and weapons from Germany, be considered as a supporter of terrorism?

    Our Kurdish brothers and sisters of the YPG are not terrorists, they are heroes who have been part of a broader Kurdish fight against decades of oppression; first in defence of their villages during Saddam Hussein's racist war of genocide against the Kurds. Then later against Sunni fundamentalists (many of whom were dregs of the Ba'athist regime) of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and of course also Turkey and particularly the more recent theocratic madmen of Erdogan and his AKP Party.

    Furthermore, this charge seems to be extremely legally dubious. He is charged under section 6 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which outlaws giving training that will be used to support etc etc acts of terror. Section 20 of that act defines acts of terror as being acts taken for the purposes of terror, as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000 with particular reference to section 1(5).

    Section 1(5) of the Terrorism Act 2000 defines an act of terror as encompassing acts for the benefit of a proscribed (banned) organisation. The YPG is not a proscribed organisation under the UK law. The PKK is, but the YPG is not.

    The earlier subsection of section 1 defines acts of terror as serious violence, serious damage to property, endangerment of life, disruption of electronic systems etc etc where the act is designed to;

    (1) Influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
    (2) done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause

    It's hard to see how the YPG's acts would meet the first limb (s(1)(b), influencing the government); the YPG's acts of violence are not undertaken to influence the UK government, or intimidate the public or a section of the public.

    Anyway, boo to the CPS! There was pressure from "certain sections" of the community to charge those fighting for the Kurds because they said it was "unfair" and "one-sided" if those who were fighting for ISIS, Al-Qaeda and various Islamist groups (some of which enjoyed mainstream support within certain communities within the UK) were charged while those who were joining groups fighting these Islamist groups were not. This is pandering; we should not be bashful about saying Islamist groups are bad, and the Kurdish YPG and Pesh are good.

    Not getting into this and would have to research it, but it was my understanding they have warned that anyone going to Syria to fight or train for either side will be liable for prosecution.


    I agree with your latter point, but as it was written then it makes no distinction about sides.

    Anyway my main point as you also enjoyed Babylon Berlin was to recommend Gomorra to you if you arent already watching it. All about modern day Italian Mafia in Naples. Think you'd enjoy it.
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    YPG/PKK and all other Kurdish organisations are proscribed terrorist organisations so yeh, the guy is guilty.

    As to why these groups are considered to be terrorist organisations, well, it's basically to placate the Turkish government.
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    This guy shouldn't come back to ' a single mind blind eye politic' country.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    YPG/PKK and all other Kurdish organisations are proscribed terrorist organisations so yeh, the guy is guilty.

    As to why these groups are considered to be terrorist organisations, well, it's basically to placate the Turkish government.
    YPG are classed as terrorists by the Turkish government, but not by the UK. The PKK are (though I certainly think they should be delisted), but Matthews fought in a YPG International Battalion, not in a PKK unit. PKK units tend to be all Turkish-born (though not wholly ethnic Kurds, there are some Turkish Assyrians and sympathetic Turks in their ranks as well).
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    YPG/PKK
    Nope. YPG =/= PKK. Surely anyone who is even faintly familiar with Middle Eastern politics would know that?

    all other Kurdish organisations are proscribed terrorist organisations
    Completely incoherent comment
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Not getting into this and would have to research it, but it was my understanding they have warned that anyone going to Syria to fight or train for either side will be liable for prosecution.
    Both sides are not either legally or morally equal.

    Fighting for ISIS is a clear act of terrorism, proscribed under UK and international law.

    Fighting for the YPG would appear not to be, given they're not even a proscribed group under the UK law.

    I agree with your latter point, but as it was written then it makes no distinction about sides.
    The law distinguishes by listing proscribed organisations, of which the YPG is not one. Equally, I pointed out that even leaving aside the proscription issue, military actions by the YPG are not designed to influence the UK government or intimidate the UK population (or international organisations) and thus he would even then not fall under the terms of the act.

    Anyway my main point as you also enjoyed Babylon Berlin was to recommend Gomorra to you if you arent already watching it.
    I've seen Gomorra, pretty good show but I have one better for you; Suburra. It's made by the same people but Suburra is amazingly good and much better than Gomorra. Here's the trailer

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    It is awful that he is being prosecuted for this. He hasn't done something morally wrong imo. But it is best for British citizens to not join foreign militant groups. It's for their own safety.
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    Given that its express British policy to screw the kurds at every possible opportunity this, alas, isnt very surprising.
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    On a slightly more optimist note though i would be curious to see the jury that would convict this chap as opposed to acquitting him out of sheer bloody mindedness.
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    could prob give him a more lenient senctence, but vigilantism is a crime regardless of who the 'good' guys are
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Both sides are not either legally or morally equal.

    Fighting for ISIS is a clear act of terrorism, proscribed under UK and international law.

    Fighting for the YPG would appear not to be, given they're not even a proscribed group under the UK law.
    Even if he had fought with the PKK, the idea they're morally equivalent is horrific.

    When ISIS were on the brink of committing genocide against the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, the PKK broke off from their own operations in Syria to instead hurry into Iraq to break through the ISIS lines so they could get everyone besieged on the mountain out.

    Have to say I find it ironic bordering on perverse that for all our talk of how much we want the Muslim world to democratise and have more rights for women and religious minorities, we're criminalising and marginalising a regime devoted to a multiconfessional and polyethnic society, radical direct democratic forms of government, and feminist politics.
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    (Original post by Napp)
    On a slightly more optimist note though i would be curious to see the jury that would convict this chap as opposed to acquitting him out of sheer bloody mindedness.
    As much as I think this is exactly the sort of thing juries ought to do, how often do juries actually take a stand over an unjust law?
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    (Original post by So-Sarah)
    could prob give him a more lenient senctence, but vigilantism is a crime regardless of who the 'good' guys are
    There's a question of jurisdiction though. Only a very limited set of crimes committed overseas can be prosecuted in UK courts, but terrorism related offenses are one. I think the prosecutors need to call it terrorism (or war crimes or something like that), or they can't get a crack at him.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    This is an outrage of the first order.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...g-against-isis

    It's also utterly illogical. How can a man who is fighting as part of Kurdish ground forces that are receiving air support of Royal Air Force jets, training from US special forces and weapons from Germany, be considered as a supporter of terrorism?

    Our Kurdish brothers and sisters of the YPG are not terrorists, they are heroes who have been part of a broader Kurdish fight against decades of oppression; first in defence of their villages during Saddam Hussein's racist war of genocide against the Kurds. Then later against Sunni fundamentalists (many of whom were dregs of the Ba'athist regime) of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and of course also Turkey and particularly the more recent theocratic madmen of Erdogan and his AKP Party.

    Furthermore, this charge seems to be extremely legally dubious. He is charged under section 6 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which outlaws giving training that will be used to support etc etc acts of terror. Section 20 of that act defines acts of terror as being acts taken for the purposes of terror, as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000 with particular reference to section 1(5).

    Section 1(5) of the Terrorism Act 2000 defines an act of terror as encompassing acts for the benefit of a proscribed (banned) organisation. The YPG is not a proscribed organisation under the UK law. The PKK is, but the YPG is not.

    The earlier subsection of section 1 defines acts of terror as serious violence, serious damage to property, endangerment of life, disruption of electronic systems etc etc where the act is designed to;

    (1) Influence the government [or an international governmental organisation] or intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
    (2) done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause

    It's hard to see how the YPG's acts would meet the first limb (s(1)(b), influencing the government); the YPG's acts of violence are not undertaken to influence the UK government, or intimidate the public or a section of the public.

    Anyway, boo to the CPS! There was pressure from "certain sections" of the community to charge those fighting for the Kurds because they said it was "unfair" and "one-sided" if those who were fighting for ISIS, Al-Qaeda and various Islamist groups (some of which enjoyed mainstream support within certain communities within the UK) were charged while those who were joining groups fighting these Islamist groups were not. This is pandering; we should not be bashful about saying Islamist groups are bad, and the Kurdish YPG and Pesh are good.
    So they are saying that the UK is actually supplying terrorist organisations with weapons?

    Are you not troubled by the Doublethink surrounding the hysteria around terrorism?
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    (Original post by Rinsed)
    As much as I think this is exactly the sort of thing juries ought to do, how often do juries actually take a stand over an unjust law?
    I believe there have been several cases with respect to assisted suicides and the like but alas it is rather rare.
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    The so called "British Hero" and many more like him have been warned that fighting in Syria would result in prosecution under the law.

    It is immoral and disgusting thinking that someone could go to a war zone and begin killing people whether they are on the "good" side or the "bad" side who knows he could have been murdering innocent people with no law in practice in Syria.
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    (Original post by AngeryPenguin)
    So they are saying that the UK is actually supplying terrorist organisations with weapons?
    What on earth are you talking about?
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    (Original post by The PoliticalGuy)
    The so called "British Hero" and many more like him have been warned that fighting in Syria would result in prosecution under the law.
    Except that it is not an offence to "fight in Syria". If you go to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS or Al-Qaeda, you are committing an offence. If you go to support a proscribed organisation, you are committing an offence.

    It is immoral and disgusting thinking that someone could go to a war zone and begin killing people whether they are on the "good" side or the "bad" side
    So basically all killing is bad, in your eyes? It was wrong for American citizens in the early part of World War 2 to have volunteered to fight as part of British forces against the Third Reich?
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Even if he had fought with the PKK, the idea they're morally equivalent is horrific.

    When ISIS were on the brink of committing genocide against the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, the PKK broke off from their own operations in Syria to instead hurry into Iraq to break through the ISIS lines so they could get everyone besieged on the mountain out.
    PKK and ISIS are not morally equivalent, but the PKK long ago crossed the line of justifiable military actions and have resorted to terrorism, including multiple deliberate bomb and shooting attacks on purely civilian targets.

    Have to say I find it ironic bordering on perverse that for all our talk of how much we want the Muslim world to democratise and have more rights for women and religious minorities, we're criminalising and marginalising a regime devoted to a multiconfessional and polyethnic society, radical direct democratic forms of government, and feminist politics.
    I actually do not think this prosecution is government policy. The UK and US have been very forceful in their support for the YPG. This was a decision taken by the CPS, and in fact I question whether this prosecution will in fact make it to trial. I don't see how it can get past the committal stage when this man's actions are outside the express terms of the TA 2000 and TA 2006
 
 
 
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