JUN 18, 2023 —
We are pleased to announce that today, two remarkable members of our faith, Hadil Elkhouly and Alexandra Foreman, had the opportunity to be hosted on the BBC Three Counties live radio show “Faith” with Nighat Arif. During the show, they addressed the plight of our 104 members who are currently detained in Turkey.
Hadil and Alexandra provided profound insights into our faith and shed light on the physical and psychological abuse endured by the 104 members held in detention. They also emphasized the imminent danger of imprisonment or execution these individuals face due to deportation orders issued by the Turkish authorities. Their powerful testimonies called upon Western countries and the international community to intervene and grant asylum to our 104 members, providing them a safe space to freely practice their faith.
This significant step comes at a critical time when we are deeply concerned about the distressing reports we continue to receive regarding the deteriorating conditions and ongoing medical neglect, showing a clear disregard for the well-being of our members in detention. One of our detained elderly members from Iran, 52-year-old Behzad Yousefi who suffers from hypertension was denied access to his vital medication and had to injure himself to alleviate his condition. In his own words, he expressed, “I went and cut my finger with a tile and calmed down, otherwise I might have had a stroke.”
While our detained members in Turkey endure these distressing conditions, our members outside of detention have not been spared from religiously-motivated violence and various forms of persecution. We were deeply saddened to learn about the violent attack on our fellow member Ramazan Demirovic from Albania in Montenegro which left him visibly injured. We strongly condemn this act of violence which was motivated by religious bigotry and antisemitism.
We thank BBC Three Counties for highlighting the plight of our 104 members and we urge the international community, human rights organizations, and all people of conscience to pay attention to these distressing situations. We call for their immediate intervention to ensure the safety, well-being, and freedom of our detained members in Turkey.
We will continue to share updates and work tirelessly to advocate for the rights of our community members, both within Turkey and globally.