Sydney journalist reportedly charged with links to PKK

A Sydney man was arrested Wednesday and charged with being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), broadcaster ABC reported.

Renas Lelikan, an Australian journalist of Kurdish origin, was reportedly arrested in Sydney.

The PKK has links to the Kurdish militia known as People’s Protection Units, or YPG, who have been fighting against Islamic State in Syria.

Several Australians have been killed while fighting with the YPG in Syria. A Queensland man who fought with YPG was questioned on his return to Australia last December but not charged.

Lelikan returned to Australia from the Middle East last year and was questioned by security services but released. His passport was confiscated.

Lelikan said he had been trapped for nine months inside Iraq’s Makhmur refugee camp, but had only been working as a journalist.

“I never did anything against our Australian government," he told ABC last year. "Wherever I went I did my job as a journalist.”

Police searched two Sydney locations but not in connection to any threat to the community, officers told ABC.

Lelikan was to appear in court Thursday. Membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Last update: Wed, 20/07/2016 - 13:52
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