Two Czech activists, Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas, were arrested on the 13th of November 2016 while attempting to cross the Habur border crossing from Turkey to Iraq. They were accused of participating in terrorist activity in Northern Syria and taken into custody.
On the 2nd of August they were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months for belonging to the Kurdish defence forces YGP/YPJ (these non-state Kurdish groups are fighting Daesh/ISIS, the Turkish army which has been repressing Kurds for several decades, and the dictatorial regime of Bashar Al-Asad).
Markéta had been to Rojava twice, according to her own words she joined the defence forces and fell in love with the region and its specific cultural and political situation. This time she and Mirek were on their way to Rojava, where they planned to set up a field hospital for fighters and civilians, and eventually help with defence, as she says herself. Together they made a campaign before their big journey, during which they wanted to acquire the necessary material, while also not being afraid to make lectures about life, fighting and revolution in the region. These public activities also probably raised the interest of Turkish agents.
In an interview Markéta said she feels with people, who risk their life in the fight against evil, that she would like to help Rojava with anything it needs, and that she realizes that as a European she has greater possibilities how to get involved and help. A bit my own way, but with them, as she said.
They were released in July 2020 and returned to the Czech Republic.