Unite Statement on detention of Kurdish leader Salih Muslim

Unite Statement on detention of Kurdish leader Salih Muslim

28 February 2018

Unite the UK’s largest union, was disgusted at the arrest of Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim in Prague and was extremely disturbed that the Czech Republic was considering extraditing him to Turkey. 

Unite cautiously welcomed his release but finds it outrageous that the release is conditional. 

Unite  is appalled that a european state supposed to uphold democratic principles, due process of law and human rights, has become a pawn for the authoritarian dictatorship of Turkey.

Salih was visiting the Czech Republic in his official capacity as the foreign affairs spokesman for the Movement for a Democratic Society, the broad political coalition that governs Rojava, the Kurdish regions of northern Syria. In no other region in the Middle East has there been such a beacon of light for womens’ rights, equality and grass roots democracy. 

Unite believes that any extradition to Turkey is illegal as Salih is a Syrian national not a Turkish citizen, the very thought of extraditing him to Turkey is akin to handing a resistance leader over to the Third Reich. 

Salih’s detention comes at a time when Turkey has embarked on an unprovoked invasion of the Kurdish Afrin area of northern Syria, an escalation of President Erdogan’s genocidal policy against the Kurds in Turkey. 

Salih Muslim is not a terrorist and is not part of a terrorist organisation. Salih and the Kurdish people of northern Syria sacrificed more than anyone else in the fight against the barbarism of ISIS and deserve our support. We must not turn our back on him or them now. 


For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. 


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.