Notts man speaks of his arrest by police after fighting against IS

A Nottinghamshire man arrested after he returned home from fighting Islamic State joined protesters demanding the case against him is dropped.

Aiden Aslin, 22, from Newark, flew out to northern Iraq in April last year to join Kurdish rebel  group the YPG.

But on his return to the UK in February he was arrested by Nottinghamshire Police at Heathrow on suspicion of terrorism offences.

He has been on bail ever since, and is yet to hear whether or not he will face formal charges.

Picture: Aiden Aslin while serving with the YPG in Iraq

Today he joined protesters outside Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, where a hearing expected to give an update on his case will be held on May 17.

Mr Aslin, who previously worked as a care worker, said: “It’s about fighting a common enemy that the world, everywhere, knows about.

“It’s an ideology that’s been through the paces, through time. When we had 9/11, 7/7, and the recent stuff that’s happened, it’s making people aware that we need to fight this, we can’t let it keep going on.”

He added: “It’s opened my eyes to what’s really going on, especially with the situation over there. Coming back it’s really woken me up to what kind of world we live in.”

IS still controls large parts of Syria and Iraq

Ishil Altan, who joined the protest, said: “The protest is not just for Aiden, it is for the Kurdish people as well who are fighting for democracy and justice.”

She added: “Until we get the fairness and justice we are going to support Aiden and this is for our rights, we are defending our very basic human rights.”

When asked about the case, Notts Police said nothing had changed since February, when a force spokesman said: “A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in conduct in preparation to commit an act of terrorism (Section 5 of the 2000 Terrorism Act) and weapons training, under Section 54 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, after arriving back in the UK.”

Mr Aslin’s case has previously been raised by Newark MP Robert Jenrick in the House of Commons.

Protesters supporting Mr Aslin outside court

He said in February: “Even if, as is most likely, these people are not charged, that will remain on their record, and constituents such as mine, who have taken an extremely brave decision—one could argue that it is foolhardy, but it is extremely brave—to fight with our allies, will not be able to, for example, enter the United States for the rest of their lives.”

Mr Aslin’s case follows the death in March last year of former Nottingham student Kostandinos Erik Scurfield, 25, while fighting IS with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, also known as the YPG.

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