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[ 14. Oct 2015 ]

Urgent Action: Refugees detained, at risk of deportation

Amnesty International started an urgent action to halt the deportation of 3 refugees who are detained in Turkey since 22nd of September 2015. They are threatened with deportations to war zones in Syria and Irak. Send protest letters to the responsible authorities!

 

Two Palestinian refugees coming from Syria, Ali Fares and Mohammed Fares, and Syrian refugee Abdalsalam Sakal, have been detained in Turkey since 22 September 2015 and are facing deportation. If deported they are at risk of serious human rights violations.

Palestinian refugees coming from Syria Ali Fares and Mohammed Fares and Syrian refugee Abdalsalam Sakal were detained during a demonstration by Syrian refugees at the main bus station in Istanbul. The demonstrators were demanding to be allowed to go to the Turkish border city of Edirne, in order to attempt to cross to Greece. Ali Fares and Mohammed Fares (who are not related) are Palestinian refugees formerly resident in Iraq but who fled to Syria 10 years ago following the 2003 war in Iraq. They are both registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

The three refugees were detained on 22 September together with two activists from France and Germany, who have since been deported back to their countries for violating the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations. The deportation and administrative detention order of the three refugees was issued on 22 September citing Art. 54 of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection. The order does not state which country they would be deported to, but does authorize for them to be held in administrative detention for one month. Ali Fares and Mohammed Fares and Abdalsalam Sakal were taken to Kumkapi Deportation Centre, in Istanbul.

Ali Fares and Mohammed Fares only had access to a lawyer on the first day of their detention. On 2 October a lawyer from the NGO Refugee Rights Centre visited the Deportation Centre but was refused access to the three refugees. On 3 October the lawyer received a phone call from the three refugees informing her that they were being flown to Erzurum province in eastern Turkey. They are currently detained in the Askale Deportation Centre in Erzurum and since their arrival they have not been able to exercise their right to legal representation.

Due to the ongoing conflicts in both Syria and Iraq, and in line with the principle of non-refoulement (a principle of the international refugee protection system which prohibits the transfer of anyone to a place where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations), no one should be forcibly returned to either country, since they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations or abuses.

Please write immediately in Turkish or your own language:

  • Calling on the Turkish authorities to halt the deportation of Ali Fares, Mohammed Fares and Abdalsalam Sakal and release them;
  • Urging them to provide Ali Fares, Mohammed Fares and Abdalsalam Sakal immediate and unfettered access to legal representation;
  • Calling on the Turkish authorities to grant the refugees from Syria temporary protection status in line with Turkey's Law on Foreigners and International Protection.

Please send appeals before 20. November 2015 to:
Minister of Interior
Mr Selami Alt?nok
?çi?leri Bakanl???
Bakanl?klar
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 425 85 09
Email: ozelkalem (at) icisleri.gov.tr
Salutation: Dear Minister

Directorate General of Migration Management
Mr Atilla Toros
Director General
Lalegül Çaml?ca Mahallesi 122. Sokak
No:2/3 06370, Yenimahalle Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 422 09 00
+90 312 422 09 99
Email: gocidaresi (at) goc.gov.tr
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:
Chair of the Human Rights Institution
Dr. Hikmet Tülen
Yüksel Caddesi No. 23, Kat 3, Yeni?ehir
06650 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 422 29 96

Also send copies to:
Ambassador Serdar Kiliç, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
2525 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 1 202 612 6700/1 / Fax: 1 202 612 6744 / Email: embassy.washingtondc (at) mfa.gov.tr

Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our impact! EITHER send a short email to uan (at) aiusa.org with "UA 223/15" in the subject line, and include in the body of the email the number of letters and/or emails you sent, OR fill out this :: short online form to let us know how you took action. Thank you for taking action! Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if taking action after the appeals date.


Additional Information


According to information received from a lawyer from the NGO Refugee Rights Centre, Ali Fares had arrived in Turkey a month before his detention. He had lost contact with his brother who had travelled to Turkey earlier in the summer. Media reports state that on the day of his detention, he heard in the news that a group of around 100 Syrian refugees were at the bus station and he went hoping to find his brother.

The cornerstone of the international refugee protection system is the principle of non-refoulement. This principle prohibits the transfer of anyone in any manner whatsoever to a place where they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations - as is the case for individuals from Syria. It has been codified in the Refugee Convention and numerous international human rights instruments binding on Turkey. A breach of this principle can occur in a variety of ways, including directly through forcible returns to the country of orig in, or indirectly through denying access to territory or to a fair and satisfactory asylum procedure. It can also occur indirectly when pressure is exerted on refugees to return to a place where their lives or freedoms are at risk - this is known as constructive refoulement, and is prohibited under international law binding on Turkey.

Source Urgent Action by amnesty international in the United States,
UA: 223/15, Index: EUR 44/2631/2015, Turkey, Issue Date: 09. October 2015 - :: amnestyusa.org, 09. Oct 2015 (:: pdf).