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Czech Court Frees Syrian Kurdish Leader

Czech Court Frees Syrian Kurdish Leader Wanted By Turkey
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Czech authorities have released a prominent leader of Syria’s Kurdish community who was detained in Prague over the weekend.

Prague's Municipal Court ruled on February 27 that Salih Muslim, former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), be released despite Turkey's request for his extradition.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue to pursue Muslim, "even if he goes to another country.

"The decision of the [Czech] court does not mean that everything is over; we will not let go of this case," Cavusoglu insisted, calling the release of the Kurdish leader "scandalous."

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the ruling was political and "a clear support for terror," adding that it would have a "negative impact" on relations between Prague and Ankara.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis declined to comment on the case , insisting that "it's a Czech court that decides, I do not know this case, I cannot express myself."

Dozens of supporters had gathered outside the Prague court, calling for Muslim’s release. Around 200 people staged similar demonstrations in Prague on February 26.

Muslim was detained in the Czech capital on February 24 based on an Interpol notice from Turkey.

A Turkish court charged Muslim with "breaking the state and country's unity" and other offenses.

Turkey considers the PYD a terrorist group.

Muslim, 67, stepped down as PYD co-chair last year but remains influential.

With reporting by Reuters