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Erdogan Could Face an Arrest Warrant in Sweden as Lawmakers Sue him for Genocide

Stockholm (AHT– On Monday, five Swedish lawmakers from the Left and Green parties signed the complaint to the Swedish International Public Prosecution Offices with regard to the conflict in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority region, where Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces are engaged in clashes since their ceasefire collapsed in 2015.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind in Sweden against a head of state and it also names several Turkish ministers, including Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

“We are five lawmakers handing in a complaint… (requesting) punishment for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” Annika Lillemets, an MP for the Left party, told a news conference in Stockholm.

A 2014 law in Sweden allows the country’s courts to judge cases of alleged crimes against humanity, no matter where the crime is committed and who the perpetrator is.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Recep_Tayyip_Erdo%C4%9Fan#/media/File:Recep_tayyip_erdogan.jpg
Photo: Wikimedia commons

The legislation says that “anyone, who in order to completely or partially destroy a national or ethnic group of people” kills, causes serious pain or injury is “guilty of genocide.”

The Swedish Public Prosecution Offices said it would decide whether to launch a preliminary investigation, noting, “It may take a while.”

Related: Wikileaks Reveal Scope Of Turkish Connection To IS And Media Crackdown

According to the lawmakers, Erdogan could face an arrest warrant in Sweden if prosecutors decide to launch the probe.

Carl Schlyter, a legislator for the Greens, expressed hope that other lawmakers in European countries would take similar measures against the Turkish president.

“If (Erdogan) is hindered from roaming around in Europe and influencing European countries the way he wants, then I hope that this will affect his politics,” he said.

In March, the UN Human Rights Office issued a report on allegations of “massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed” between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeastern Turkey.

Related: ‘If Erdogan Wins It Will Be Worse For Us’: Kurds Fear Stronger Presidency

Turkish military forces have been conducting ground operations as well as airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in Turkey’s troubled southeastern border region and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region since 2015.

This post was originally written for and published by American Herald Tribune.