The Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCLJ) called on the authorities to respect the interim measure imposed on it by the United Nations Committee against Torture on May 26, demanding that it refrain from extraditing a Turkish citizen while his case is being considered before the body.
The Committee against Torture is considering the case of one of the members of the Hizmet movement who has been exposed to mass persecution by the Turkish authorities since 2016, who has been in custody in Serbia since June 2021, where he expressed his intention to seek asylum. danger of torture and political persecution, the BCLJ said.
On May 17, 2022, the High Court in Belgrade issued a decision that the preconditions for extradition were met, and this decision was made before the final termination of the asylum procedure, ie. before the decision of the Asylum Commission was examined by the Administrative Court.
In this way, the asylum authorities are prevented from fully examining whether he is in danger of being subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, bearing in mind that the deadline for filing a lawsuit with the Administrative Court has not yet expired.
In a statement, the center states that the Constitution and laws of Serbia, as well as numerous international agreements, proclaim that no person should be expelled or returned against his will to a territory where there is a risk of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
They reminded that in 2017, a similar case occurred in Serbia when Kurdish political activist Xhevdet Ajaz was illegally extradited to Turkey, despite the temporary measure of the Committee against Torture.
In that case, Serbia is obliged to pay appropriate compensation to Ajaz, including non-pecuniary damage for the suffered physical and mental pain and suffering, as well as to establish without delay a mechanism for monitoring the conditions in which he is serving a prison sentence in Turkey.
In addition, the Committee instructed Serbia to take all necessary steps not to remove persons from its territory in future cases of imposing interim measures before the Committee has made a decision on the complaint.
The failure of the competent authorities of Serbia to comply with the interim measures of international human rights bodies is illustrated by the example of a Bahraini citizen who was extradited to that country on January 21, 2022, despite the interim measure imposed by the European Court of Human Rights.