Switzerland wants to deport HDP activist Hünkar Arslan to Turkey
Despite the risk of arrest, Switzerland wants to deport HDP activist Hünkar Arslan to Turkey on Friday. The migrant self-organization ROTA wants to prevent this and calls for protests in front of Bässlergut prison in Basel.
HDP activist Hünkar Arslan could be deported from Switzerland to Turkey, although he is threatened with repression and imprisonment there. The Alevi Kurd, whose asylum application was rejected, has been in custody in Basel in Bässlergut prison for two weeks. His deportation has been scheduled for this Friday. The migrant self-organization ROTA wants to prevent this and calls for protest. According to the initiative, the rejection decision in Arslan's asylum procedure was made by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) before his defense documents were received from Turkey. “This illustrates the Swiss deportation policy”, criticizes ROTA and calls for the case to be re-examined.
Whole family active in the HDP
Hünkar Arslan applied for asylum in Switzerland about a year ago. His politically active family had to leave Dersim due to the state's repressive policies and migrated to Izmit near Kocaeli in western Turkey. There the Arslans are involved in the Democratic Party of the Peoples (HDP). One of the activists' parents even ran for mayor in past local elections. The members of the family are therefore regularly targeted by the Turkish security authorities. That is why Hünkar Arslan decided to leave Turkey in 2020. Even after that, the police turned up at the parents' house to ask about his whereabouts.
How does this decision fit into Switzerland's understanding of democracy?
ROTA is outraged by the SEM's decision. "How can Turkey, which has forcibly detained and arrested nearly 1,000 students who have reacted to anti-democratic practices in the last month, be safe for a political person?" A statement said. And “how could the return of a person seeking protection to a country where all these events took place fit into Switzerland's understanding of democracy”, the organization wants to know. ROTA is calling for a rally on Thursday in front of Bässlergut prison (Freiburgerstrasse 48, 4057 Basel). The protest starts at 2 pm. Basel Nazi-free and Anarchist Group Bern also call for participation.
Hundreds of HDP members arrested in one day
As recently as Monday 15 February, at least 718 people were arrested in forty provinces in Turkey on vaguely worded ‘terrorist’ charges. The majority are HDP-related people who are still in custody.