Comment 25 Dec 17

Serbia Risks Flouting UN Torture Convention By Extraditing Activist

If Serbia acts on its decision to extradite a Kurdish rights activist to Turkey, it will be showing its absolute disregard for the UN Convention against Torture that it has signed.

Nikola Kovacevic
BIRN
Belgrade
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic during his recent visit to Serbia. Photo: Beta

A Kurdish political activist, Cevdet Ayaz, who is currently unlawfully and arbitrarily deprived of liberty in the Detention Centre for Foreigners in Serbia, is facing imminent risk of extradition to Turkey.

This is despite the UN Committee Against Torture CAT’s interim measure, which says Serbia should refrain from forcible removal before the end of procedures before this body.  The CAT rendered this decision on 11 December 2017.

On December 13, Serbia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations informed the Foreign, Interior and Justice ministries of the decision of the Committee.

However, it appears that Serbian authorities still believe there are no legal obstacles to executing the Minister of Justice’s decision on extradition, rendered on December 15. It looks like a matter of time before Serbia deports  Ayaz.  

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