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NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fight against IS is not murder

A criminal investigation has been launched in the Netherlands against former elite soldier Jitse Akse, who is suspected of murdering IS fighters while fighting alongside the Kurdish YPG in Syria. The public outcry over the state's actions against Akse is understandable, the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad argues: "Akse's arrest was above all of a symbolic and legal policy character. …  It is being presented as an inevitable step in the framework of domestic criminal proceedings. Murder is simply forbidden, says the state, which is supplying weapons and soldiers to the very same end. The case may look different from a legal point of view, but from a moral standpoint? To follow this logic you need to be very erudite. In the fight against the IS, Dutch fighters want to prevent terrorist attacks (in Europe). In principle therefore, they are pursuing the same interests as the state. To prosecute them for 'murder' for doing so doesn't exactly make much sense."

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