The family of a Queensland man who returned home from Syria after reportedly fighting Islamic State have pleaded for amnesty for their son and criticised Australia’s foreign fighter’s laws.
Ashley Dyball, 23, flew into Brisbane on Monday, almost eight months after he reportedly left to join Kurdish forces against IS in Northern Syria.
He was arrested this week while taking a break in Germany, and he was detained for several hours by Australian Federal Police officers when he returned to Australia before being released without charge.
Speaking at Brisbane Airport, Dyball’s father, Scott, criticised the foreign fighter laws that could see his son charged.
“This is wrong, what the government is trying to do to him is wrong,” Mr Dyball told the ABC.
“The charges are just so ridiculous, they should be dropped. The law was unclear at the time, if they were clear the boys would not have gone.
“All we are asking is just an amnesty.”
Dyball thanked his supporters though his Facebook page on Monday.
“After spending time in Germany and feeling as wanted as Justin Beiber in a over 18 concert I'm home in will try to reply to you all at some stage but I don't have a phone yet,” he wrote.
“I am still currently under investigation and am very tired of have much to do this week.”
He also said he was looking for work and his phones may be compromised.
Dyball is understood to have been detained by German authorities on the basis of his links to the YPG, or People’s Protection Units -- a Kurdish militia fighting IS in Syria.
His mother, Julia, said she was proud of her son's efforts to help Kurdish fighters dismantle landmines.
"Countless people and children that have been killed by landmines. And I don't see what's so criminal about dismantling landmines so people can return home," she said.
Dressed in yellow, the 23-year-old was greeted by a placard carrying crowd of about fifty supporters – which included some members of the Kurdish community carrying placards that said 'Ashley Dyball, the brave hero for all humanity, YPG'.
The Queensland man’s personal belongings were reportedly seized by the AFP at Melbourne Airport, following hours of questioning before he was released without charge.
Ashley's parents were accompanied by Michele Harding, whose son Reece died in June after he stepped on a land mine while out on patrol in Syria.
The trio traveled to northern Iraq a few months ago in an effort to find their son.
The AFP said in a statement it was aware Dyball had returned to the country and said any allegations of criminal behaviour can be referred to the AFP for investigation.
“The public can rest assured that any Australian who is identified as a threat to security will be investigated by the relevant agencies,” the AFP said.
“Australians have been consistently warned that by becoming involved in overseas conflict they are putting their own lives in mortal danger.”Suggest a correction