Political refugees in Greece: victims of an anti-democratic alliance

In the recent weeks, Turkish and Kurdish political refugees in Greece are faced with constant prosecutions (arrests, searches at their homes, detentions when they protest in front of the Turkish Embassy). Turkey is activating several extradiction signals, even for refugees who have been in Greece for over a decade, and whose asylum requests are still pending due to the substantially inefficient system of asylum granting.

In Patra, the Judicial Council of Second Instance in unanimity with the Proecutor has recently judged that Z. Korbuz and B. Komert should not be extradited to Turkey and in addition, it has ordered the cessation of the first refugee’s detention and the removal of the second refugee’s restrictive conditions.

As it came out during the hearing procedure, the indictment was poorly founded and exposed to multiple contradictions, the prosecutions were launched because of the political and syndicalistic activity of the accused, who had been arrested and tortured in Turkey in the past (G. Korbuz in particular was also targeted because of his ethnic and religious beliefs, and his family background, as his sister is a symbolic figure of the struggle that drove an international campaign against tortures, while all the other members of his family have been arrested and abused). It also became very clear that if extradited to Turkey there is an imminent risk of them being tortured in order to confess their deeds.

It is however particularly strange that the day after the taking of this decision – and even before the beginning of the typical procedure for its official publication-, the Prosecutor of Second Instance of Patras filed an appeal against this decision (in absolute contradiction with the fact that the Prosecutor of the hearing had pointed out that the charges were heavily unfounded), and in addition he requested for the continuation of the detention of the one refugee, despite the Judicial Council’s contrary decision on the matter.

Taking into consideration that these facts occurred on a moment when there are persistent rumors referring to a secret agreement being concluded between the two Prime Ministers, Samaras and Erdogan, concerning matters of extradition of political refugees to Turkey, it becomes clear that the Greek government is prompt to violate the Geneva Convention, in the same way it violated the Greek Constitution and dismantled the workers’ rights in Greece.

Ιt is evident that the Greek government does not care about the fact that nowadays in Turkey a savage campaign of violation of human rights is being conducted with the arrest, on the basis of the antiterrorist legislation, of thousands of citizens of Kurdish origin (10.000 people are currently faced with charges) and also of hundreds of Turkish syndicalists of the private (DISK) and public (KESK) sector, as well as of lawyers who have been struggling for the defense of democratic rights and people’s freedoms.

It is also important to note that if someone is arrested under the Turkish antiterrorism law, he is subject to a long detention with indefinite time limit and with no access to his case file until the beginning of the trial (which could possibly be situated two years later). It might also mean that he is subject to the jurisdiction and judgment of special courts, for the operation of which Turkey has been several times condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, since these courts make use -inter alia- as means of proof confessions extorted with recourse to tortures.

Today, Turkey is being constantly “under attack” by all international organizations dealing with human rights, but apparently these facts are of minor importance to the Greek government, which probably regards with admiration the suppressive practices of the neighboring country.

It is though our elementary duty to abolish in practice these agreements, to not allow the extradition of any Turkish nor Kurdish political refugee, and to make sure that they are at last officially granted political asylum.


Athens, 30 March 2013


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  1. Παράθεμα: POLITICAL REFUGEES IN GREECE: VICTIMS OF AN ANTI-DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE | Reports from the Edge of Borderline Democracy