petak, 1. lipnja 2012.

Freedom for Başak: Who is Başak?

28th of May 2012, Başak Şahin Duman was arrested while entering Croatia on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the Turkey [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Başak is former medical student and long time student activist. She was arrested in 2004. in Ankara, on student protest against new Turkish „anti-terrorist“ laws that allows conviction for terrorism for every kind of activism that includes critics of government [Amnesty Internationala on "antiterrorist" law]. Paradoxically Başak, along with 46 more students was charged by the same law, in process know as “Process 46”, and in 2010 convicted on 6 years and 3 months of jail for terrorism! Because of that process, the Turkey Republic was sued to the European Court of Human Rights (procedure 71667/11.) It is important to say that the only evidence of “terrorist” activities is that convicted students were chanting slogans on protest, which is openly stated in the judgment.

Like many others in this process, Başak moved from Turkey to Germany, she got married there and she lives and works as a translator of English and Spanish in Frankfurt am Main. Başak has regulated permanent residence in Germany, and has never had a problem because of the process, either in Germany, or in any other country. Many of her colleagues who have been convicted in the same case were given political asylum in France, Germany, Switzerland and other countries. She was arrested in Zagreb on an Interpol arrest warrant that was issued recently and of which she was not aware of.

Başak is now in extradition custody in Remetinec jail in Zagreb and she is threatened by extradition to Turkey, country with the largest number of political prisoners [1], by far with the largest number of journalists imprisoned for what they wrote [1] and a country where torture in prisons more the rule than the exception [Reports of Human Rights Organization and Report to the European Parliament]. Başak was already tortured when she was arrested in Turkey.

Although Croatia by the Constitution and laws should not extradite her to a country where she will be tortured or persecuted for her beliefs, legal confusion in the Croatian legislation allows Croatia to violate even the international treaties on extradition [1]. Başak also have a right to seek asylum, that is, protection of Croatia of persecution in the country whose citizen she is. She asked for it but airport police told her, unlawfully, that you can not seek an asylum in Croatia! Başak now has a lawyer who will submit a request for asylum and objection to the decision on detention, but the result is still uncertain.

Freedom for Başak!

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