JUN 26, 2023 —
Today, representatives of the European Human Rights organization CAP Freedom of Conscience attended a high-level OSCE meeting in Vienna and delivered a report on the plight of the 104 members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light to the Turkish government delegation present at the meeting. The report detailing the religious persecution of our members and their current arrest in Turkey will be handed to other government delegations attending the meeting as well. An oral statement on the case of the 104 detained members will also be delivered later this afternoon to all delegates of member states attending the meeting, which we will publish as well. The OSCE stands for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. With 57 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization. The meeting held in Hofburg, Vienna from the 26-27th of June brings together representatives of OSCE participating States, OSCE institutions and structures, international organizations, civil society, media and other stakeholders with relevant experience in the topic of tolerance and non-discrimination.
Today, the Border Violence Monitoring Network also just released a follow-up statement, co-signed by 16 organizations and MEP Cornelia Ernst, on the case of the 104 members of the faith unlawfully detained in Turkey
In the statement, the BVMN and the co-signatory organizations call for the annulment of the deportation decisions issued against the group, an end to violent practices enacted upon them, and their release from detention.
Furthermore, the statement highlights how the case of the 104 members has demonstrated the lack of legal pathways for persecuted individuals to claim asylum in the European Union, leaving them with nothing but dangerous alternatives to seek protection.
It questions Turkey’s status as a safe third country for members of the religion, stating that the reality on the ground is quite different. That is because Turkey’s commitment to international conventions like the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocol has limitations when it comes to non-European citizens, restricting the level of protection available to them.
The deportation orders, along with the risks members of the faith encounter as a religious minority, as previously discussed in the first statement, confirm that Turkey is not a safe country for many asylum seekers seeking refuge within the European Union.
The follow-up statement has been published by BVMN on their website as well as their Twitter account.
Furthermore, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light will be cooperating with a barrister from the United Kingdom specialized in Human Rights, Religion, and EU law to apply for a Rule 39 Interim Measure with the European Court of Human Rights. This application will seek to stop any deportation from Turkey of our members until all national measures are exhausted and deportation orders are completely dropped or the case would be referred to the European Court of Human Rights.
As a second step the barrister will also work to secure asylum for our persecuted members in the European Union so they can practice their faith freely and safely.