Serbia Extradites Kurdish Activist to Turkey Despite UN AppealBy and
United Nations agency urged Serbia to consider asylum claim
Serbia’s justice minister says UNCAT message came too late
Serbia extradited to Turkey a Kurdish activist who had asked for asylum, his lawyer said, despite a recommendation from the United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT) to delay the move until his request was considered.
Cevdet Ayaz was taken from a Serbian immigration facility Monday evening, lawyer Ana Trkulja said, adding that his brother had been asked to contact the Istanbul police station where he’s being held. Ayaz had appealed for asylum in Serbia earlier this year after fleeing Turkey, where he faces a 15-year jail sentence for alleged anti-constitutional activity.
On Monday, UNCAT chairman Jens Modvig admonished Serbia to “be aware of your UNCAT obligations” in a Twitter message about the Ayaz case.
The UN body’s appeal arrived after the Serbian government had already made the ruling on Dec. 15 to extradite Ayaz, Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic told regional broadcaster N1 television. “The decision was final and there was no legal remedy to annul it,” Kuburovic said.
Turkey, which like Serbia is a candidate for membership in the European Union, denies using torture.
Serbia welcomed Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a highly publicized state visit in October.