Every year, thousands of people from countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran arrive in Turkey seeking protection from persecution. Many of these people are arrested by Turkey’s security forces and are detained before being deported, often without any legal procedure being followed.
Although a party to the Refugee Convention, Turkey refuses to accept refugees coming from countries outside Europe. However, Turkey as a member of the Council of Europe is party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the rights of all persons within Turkey’s jurisdiction irrespective of their country of origin.
On 22 September, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Mohsen Abdolkhani and Hamid Karimnia, two Iranian refugees, had been unlawfully detained in Turkey. Following the judgment, the two men were finally released from detention on 23 October.
However, scores of others remain in detention under Turkish legal provision declared unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights.
Amnesty International has called for the release of all others who are held under the provisions found to be unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights. The organization has also requested an overhaul of the rules governing the detention of people in Foreigners’ Guest-Houses in order to prevent any future unlawful detentions.
Image: European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France ©APGraphicsBank