Sweden arrests and extradites Kurdish asylum seeker

Sweden arrests and extradites Kurdish asylum seeker
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Mahmut Tat, convicted in Turkey over "terror" charges, his asylum application rejected by Swedish officials, has been handed over to Turkey.

A Kurdish asylum seeker was extradited by Sweden to Turkey on Friday, some time after his asylum application was rejected, Duvar's Ahmet Tirej Kaya reported.

Mahmut Tat was recently taken into custody on 22 November in Sweden and taken to a detention center in Mölndal. He was transferred to another facility in Marsta near Arlanda Airport on Thursday with no information provided to his family. Tat was eventually able to contact and tell a family member that he was transferred, and handcuffed during the transfer.

Tat more recently called his son Ozan Can Tat to tell him that he is in Istanbul Airport and held in custody by the Turkish police.

Working as a bus driver in Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Tunceli (Dersim) and a sympathizer of pro-Kurdish political parties since 1990s, Tat had also taken part in activities of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), and faced court over "terrorism" charges. When he was sentenced to a prison term of six years and 10 months over a statement and accusations by a former activist who turned informer, he left Turkey in 2015 to travel to Sweden, where he applied for asylum.

He was called for an interview at the Swedish Migration Agency three years after his application, and his file was eventually referred to Swedish Security Service SAPO.

He was told by officials that he had had a fair trial in Turkey, that he is dangerous for Sweden, and he cannot be allowed to stay.

When he asked them if he was accused of being involved in any criminal offense in Sweden, he was told that their assessment was based on the lawsuit in Turkey and his participation in two protests in Sweden.

The extradition came three days after Sweden's foreign minister Tobias Billstrom said before a meeting with Turkish diplomats that Sweden is on track to meet Turkey's requirements for accepting it and Finland as new members of NATO. "We are on a steady path to meet Turkey's conditions," he remarked.

Ankara says it will give green light to Sweden's accession to NATO provided that Swedish authorities crackdown on Kurdish activists implicated in terror charges, stop supporting Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lifts arms embargoes imposed on Turkey following the latter's invasion of Syrian territories in 2019.