JUN 1, 2023 —
[EDIRNE, TURKEY, June 2nd] 104 members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, and two UK journalists, remain detained in the Edirne deportation center, with one day left to file an appeal against the deportation orders. A legal team representing the 104 members who were peacefully seeking to claim asylum has been assigned to put in an appeal, stating that it is illegal to deport the group based on humanitarian grounds. It urges the Turkish authorities to stop the deportation of the families as it violates the core principle of non-refoulement under international human rights law. Deporting the families would expose them to imprisonment or execution in their countries of origin. The appeal will be reviewed by the court, it is unknown when the court will issue its final judgment.
The situation has now become dire since it is unknown if the members will remain detained during the appeal process or if they will be released and allowed to resume their lives normally.
We and the family members of the detained remain concerned over their condition as we continue to receive disturbing reports of abuse from the members inside. We have received three new testimonies today, of two women, and of one of the British Journalists.
The urgency of the case has raised the concern of the UN, especially the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief whose office held a meeting with Hadil El-Khouly, the human rights outreach coordinator at the religion, stating that the case is a priority to the mandate.
The case has caught the attention of global media outlets and has been covered in the written press, most notably UK’s Metro, The European Times, The Sofia Globe, The EUReporter, Euro Weekly News, and many others. TV and radio shows, in Spanish, Persian, and Punjabi have featured the case on their live shows. There has been worldwide interest in rallying support and putting pressure to overturn the deportation orders.
We are also committed to fighting for the cause and covering the events on the official satellite channel of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, broadcasting 24/7 to the Middle East and North Africa.
We urge everyone to contact their local press and reporters, as well as NGOs and human rights organizations to get the word out and actively spread the press release statements.
We thank the UN for making this case a top priority and we look forward to a positive and swift outcome.