London

Four people arrested in Kurdish terror finance probe

Yeni Ozgur Politika newspaper
Image caption Campaigners describe raids as an ‘attack on freedom of speech

Four people have been arrested as part of an investigation into terrorist financing which has been linked to a Kurdish newspaper in the UK.

Two Kurdish women and two teenagers were arrested and questioned about the sale and distribution of Yeni Ozgur Politika - which means "New Free Politics".

Armed police carried out dawn raids on 7 December at addresses in Haringey.

Campaigners say the arrests are "an attack on freedom of expression".

Two 17-year-old boys, a 38-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman were all arrested on suspicion of terrorist fundraising, terrorist money laundering and fraud offences, the Metropolitan Police said.

The raids were carried out at separate addresses in Alexandra Palace and Crouch End. All four arrested have been released on bail while inquiries continue.

'Shocking and worrying'

The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign described the arrests as "an attack on freedom of expression".

It said the raids were "shocking and worrying, against ordinary Kurdish families carrying out perfectly legal activities in the distribution of this newspaper in the UK".

It added: "The paper reports on political developments in Turkey and cultural aspects of Kurdish people's lives."

"It has an important role for Kurds living across Europe, as Kurdish newspapers and radio stations in Turkey have been shut down due to sustained suppression by the Turkish state."

Yeni Ozgur Politika, is written in the Turkish and Kurdish languages and is sold in Kurdish shops, and community centres across Europe.

The coverage of Kurdish news and politics is a contentious issue because of the decades-long conflict in Turkey between the Kurdish population and the Turkish state.

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