Published February 20, 2019
A man was seriously injured after setting himself on fire in Germany Wednesday as a protest against Turkey ’s detention of militant Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan , police said .
“ The 43 – year – old doused himself with a liquid and then set himself on fire ” outside the courthouse in the western city of Krefeld, police said in a statement .
Bystanders doused the flames with blankets and a fire extinguisher , and a rescue helicopter took the man to the hospital .
“ According to witnesses , he said he was protesting against the detention of Ocalan and against German police violence, ” said the statement , adding that they were also investigating a possible “ personal motive ” and mental health issues .
Last Friday was the 20 th anniversary of the day when Turkish secret service agents caught Ocalan in Kenya, outside the Greek embassy in Nairobi — on February 15 , 1999 .
Ocalan co – founded the Kurdistan Workers ’ Party in 1978 , an organisation that is now blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies .
The PKK , originally set up to win Kurdish autonomy , became an armed group in 1984 with the aim of creating an independent Kurdish state. In the subsequent insurgency , more than 40 , 000 people have been killed .
( AFP )
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