STOCKHOLM — Five Swedish lawmakers have filed a legal complaint accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, AFP reported on Monday.
The lawsuit to the country’s prosecutor against Erdogan highlighting his role in the bloody conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish militants since 2015.
According to the lawmakers, Erdogan may face an arrest warrant in Sweden if local prosecutors decide to launch an investigation. Carl Schlyter, one of the lawmakers who filed the complaint, said he hoped his counterparts in other European countries would follow suit. “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,” AFP quoted him as saying.
This is the first case in Sweden when an attempt is made to hold the leader of another country accountable. The complaint also names Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and several other Turkish ministers. It the complaint is pursued, it could be considered as an arrest warrant issued against Erdogan.
A law has passed in Sweden in 2014 according to which the Swedish courts can preside over any case involving crimes against humanity regardless of where the crime has been committed. The law specifies 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.
Several Turkish ministers have recently been barred from attending political events in Europe amid strains ties between the EU and Ankara. Also on Monday, Austria blocked a minister from visiting an event marking the anniversary of last year’s failed coup. Earlier this year, the Netherlands made a similar move when it rejected ministers seeking to address Turks living in Europe ahead of a vote on constitutional changes in Turkey.