Kurdish solidarity activists warn that the UK government is using and abusing terrorism laws to criminalise acts of solidarity with groups even though they are not banned as terrorist organisations.
A father and brother of Daniel Newey, a UK volunteer who traveled to Syria to fight against Daesh along with the Kurdish-led Peoples Protection Units (YPG), on Friday pled not guilty to terrorism offences relating to their support of the relative.
Paul Newey, 49, is charged with knowing or having “reasonable cause to suspect” that £150 he sent to his son Daniel while he was in transit in Spain on the way to re-join the YPG in Syria, “would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism” in violation of S17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Samuel Newey, 19, is charged with violation of S 5(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2006, by assisting or intending to assist his brother Daniel Newey to “commit, prepare or instigate an act of terrorism, engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention”
This follows the case of David Burke, another former YPG volunteer, who was charged with terrorism offences in December 2019, also in connection to support he allegedly provided to Daniel Newey to help him get to Syria.
Around 15 supporters attended the hearing, including Nick Matheou of the Kurdish Solidarity Campaign.
Matheou argued that the prosecutions are part of a broader set of actions by the British state to “use and abuse terrorism laws to criminalise a…