DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:50 P.M.) – A group of left-wing Swedish members of parliament have handed in an official complaint against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing his government of war crimes against Turkey’s Kurdish minority.
The five Scandinavian lawmakers, all from the Left and Green parties, came together on Tuesday morning to file the complaint, the first of its kind in the Swedish nation. Turkey stands accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes due to its counter-insurgency efforts in southeast Turkey.
The file was lodged to the Swedish International Public Prosecution Offices and notably accuses Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as well. The case is only able to be acted upon following a change to Sweden’s laws in 2014, allowing the country’s courts to preside over complaints of genocide regardless of where they have been committed or by whom.
A truce between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces faltered when fighting restarted in 2015. Hundreds of Turkish security forces have been killed in recent years, while the army claims to have killed thousands of Kurdish rebels.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are classed as a terrorist group by the Turkish government, EU and the US. Roughly 40,000 people have died in the long-running conflict since 1984.