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News 14 Feb 18

Activists to Report Serbia to UN for Extraditing Kurd

Human rights campaigners will lodge a complaint against Serbia with the UN Committee Against Torture because of Kurdish activist Cevdet Ayaz’s extradition to Turkey.

Filip Rudic
The UN building in Geneva, where the Committee Against Torture holds sessions. Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and Cevdet Ayaz’s former lawyer Ana Trkulja will lodge a complaint against Serbia for ignoring the UN Committee Against Torture request not to send the Kurdish activist and victim of torture to Turkey.

“[Serbia] extradited him despite the decision of the Committee, so that’s where the complaint against Serbia will be filed,” Trkulja told BIRN.

Serbia extradited Ayaz to Turkey in December, despite the UN Committee Against Torture saying he should not be forcibly removed until it had finished considering his case.

The Kurdish political activist and a victim of torture has been sentenced to 15 years in jail in Turkey for acts against the country's constitutional order.

Ayaz’s brother Esref told Radio Free Europe on Monday that he is willing to sue Serbia for delivering Cevdet to Turkey.

Trkulja, who represented Ayaz in court in Serbian court before his extradition, said that she would testify if his family brought a lawsuit before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

She also said she has filed a complaint to the Serbian Constitutional Court against the authorities for detaining the Kurdish activist without a court warrant.

Ayaz was held in a reception centre for aliens near Belgrade until his extradition.

“There was even a complaint filed to the [Serbian] Ombudsman, but he did not react at all,” Trkulja said.

She added that it will probably take a few years before the Constitutional Court makes a ruling, but if it rejects the complaint, the case will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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