human rights watch

torsdag 29 oktober 2015

Denmark strips passport of woman who volunteered fighting against ISIS

Denmark strips passport of woman who volunteered fighting against ISIS

Denmark strips passport of woman who volunteered for anti-ISIS Kurdish forces.
COPENHAGEN — Police in Denmark have confiscated the passport of a 22-year-old woman named Joanna Palani and slapped a travel ban against her after she returned to Denmark from the Kurdistan region and Kurdish areas in Syria, known as Rojava, where she fought alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State.

Palani—of Kurdish background—dropped out of college in Denmark last fall to join the YPJ, the women’s unit of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. She fought in Kobani, the Kurdish town in Syria that was liberated from ISIS in January, and later she fought alongside with the Peshmerga in Iraq against ISIS.

“There is a reason to believe that [Palani’s] actions may be a danger to national security,” the police said according to the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende. "By leaving for Iraq and by receiving training in military skills she could pose a danger to national security or a substantial threat to the public order.”

Palani’s lawyer, Thorkild Høyer, rejected claims her client “posed a threat to national security.”

"It is absurd that Palani is stripped of her passport when she has been fighting against the same enemy, ISIS, as Denmark is fighting against," Høyer told reporters. "It is hypocritical that she is punished when so many others who are going down there to fight with IS, are not stripped of their passports."

Denmark is part of the international effort to arm Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamist extremists. It has sent a 55-person military team as well as emergency aid and weapons to help the Kurdish forces on the ground. The Scandinavian country is also helping with US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Hundreds of Kurds from the West, among them about some 50 Danish Kurds, are reported to have gone to fight alongside the Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria in their battles against ISIS.

Video of Joanna

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