Via Balkan Insights – Serbia has extradited a Kurdish activist, Cevdet Ayaz, to Turkey, despite the UN Committee Against Torture saying Serbia should not forcibly remove him until procedures before this body ended.
“His brother called me this morning from Istanbul and told me he got information from the police station that Ayaz was extradited,” his lawyer, Ana Trkulja, said on Tuesday. 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.
In Serbia, he was being held in a reception centre for aliens near Belgrade.
On December 11, the UN Committee Against Torture, CAT, said Serbia should refrain from forcibly removing him before the end of procedures before this body.
On December 13, Serbia’s Permanent Mission to the UN informed the Serbian Foreign, Interior and Justice ministries of the decision of the Committee.
However, the Serbian authorities apear to have ignored the CAT’s advice. “The only information I received about this case came from the media, not from the Serbian Justice Ministry,” Trkulja added.
The chair of the CAT, Jens Modvig, on Monday said that Serbia needed to be aware of its UNCAT obligations.
“Apparently, Serbia is in the process of extraditing Ayaz to Turkey despite CATs issue of interim measures. Serbia, please be aware of your UNCAT obligations,” he wrote on Twitter.
As a successor to the former Yugoslavia, Serbia was one of the first countries in the world to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, which came into force in 1987.
It thereby recognised the mandate of the CAT, established as a mechanism to control whether or not state signatories are acting in line with the obligations arising from this document.
Serbia’s Justice Ministry told BIRN on Tuesday that all questions should be addressed to the Interior Ministry, which was unavailable for immediate comment.
The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, which has monitored the case and informed international institutions, told BIRN that Trkulja had informed it that her client had been extradited.
Media in Serbia reported the same information on Tuesday morning.