Family of Dalia Muslim charges authorities of Kurdistan Region of Iraq for handing her over to Turkey

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA – Mahmoud Mohammed Muslim, brother of Salih Muslim, former Co-Chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and current foreign relations official of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), released a statement on Sunday following the Turkish announcement that his daughter Dalia, known as Vian Sharafan, had surrendered to Turkish security forces in northern Iraq.

“Our daughter Dalia Mahmoud Muslim, like all other sons and daughters of North and East Syria, joined the Women’s Protection Units to defend her land and people against ISIS and its mercenaries six years ago,” said Mahmoud Muslim in a statement.

“For health reasons, she left her comrades and duties six months ago and went to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for treatment, and she kept in touch with the family, until she called shortly before about returning to her family in North and East Syria. We are surprised at her hand over to the Turkish authorities and their intelligence services.”

The Interior Ministry in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government denied the accusations, stating that, “[Dalia] had left the Women’s Protection Units and started a relationship with a PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party fighter known as Toul Hadan, living in Bitlis.”

“Both of them decided to leave the PKK,” the statement continued, saying that Dalia traveled “secretly” to Turkey to hand herself over to Turkish authorities.

Mahmoud Muslim blamed Kurdistan regional authorities for the handing over of Dalia to the Turkish intelligence services and believed her public statement was coerced.

Mahmoud Muslim appealed to international humanitarian organizations to intervene on behalf of his daughter and secure her safe return to her family.