Perihan, a Kurdish Woman From Turkey With Two Daughers Saved From Deportation

By Dr Gill Gillespie, UK Director.


Perihan Tekin and her daughters

NCADC announced the good news today that Perihan, who was raped and tortured by Turkish authorities because of her Kurdish political activities, has been saved from deportation back to Turkey.  The treatment that she and her 2-year-old and 11-year-old daughters were subject to in Turkey was truly appalling.  However, the Iranian Refugees Action Network also challenges the treatment she faced at the hands of UK authorities.  It is our belief that refugee cases, where victims have clearly been subject to horrendous persecution, should not be forced to resort to emergency injunctions and European Court appeals, which are not only extremely costly, but during which the victims of persecution and their families pay a high emotional price.  The European Court appeals are nearly always successful, but cases should not have to be progressed so far because the UK system is set so firmly against supporting the human rights of those who have been subject to human rights atrocities abroad.

NCADC reported:

Last night the High Court of Justice stated “that the Claimant should not be removed pending the outcome of the application to seek judicial review or further order”

They were allowed out of Cedars last night and are even now on their way back to Gloucester.

All of us at GARAS have been overwhelmed by the response from supporters across the country. It has helped us to know we are not alone and that there are so many people who care enough to make a difference. It ahs also been encouraging to know that contacting the MPs office also makes a difference, due to the huge number of contacts made to the local office they also took action and appealed to Damian Green to halt proceedings.

It is good to know we can make a difference.

We do hope that the Appeal will be successful and that we shall not be required to get in touch again on this case


Adele Owen Director

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

About Perihan

She was arrested and imprisoned in Turkey for her involvement in Kurdish politics (as a canvasser for the DTP party) and when in prison she was assaulted and raped by the prison guards. In addition to the horrors of a Turkish prison she was violated at home when officials threatened her and she was raped, while her daughter was locked in another room.

She fled Turkey and came to the UK to seek asylum. Her family have found out that she was raped and say that because of this she has brought shame on them and that if she returns to Turkey they will kill her. She also remains at risk of further imprisonment.

There is grave concern about what will happen to her two daughters and they too are due to be deported. One of Perihan’s daughters was born in this country and the oldest attends a local school. The whole family are very much part of their local community.

Dawn Raid, 14 February 2012

dawn raidOn Tuesday 14th February, despite the belief that this was a thing of the past, Perihan and her children were subject to the horror of a dawn raid and removal to the Pease Pottage Removal Centre. This photo shows the force that was used to enter the property which must have been a terrifying reminder of her past experiences. Perihan and her family were detained at Pease Pottage, the family detention centre.


The risk in Turkey

Honour killing is a serious problem in Turkey as statistics compiled by the Human Rights Association in Turkey indicate. The Human Rights Association (İHD) in Turkey has said that in eastern and southeastern Turkey in 2010 alone, 72 women in the region were victims of murder for a variety of reasons, and 113 women committed suicide. While the deaths of 18 women were deemed suspicious, 13 women were murdered in ‘honor killings’. 76 women in the region were victims of rape, and 45 were victims of abuse.

The risk of violence from within family units is also highlighted in a Human Rights Watch report from May 2011, He Loves You, He Beats You. Human Rights Watch says that “Gaps in the law and implementation failures by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials make the protection system unpredictable at best, and at times downright dangerous”. Therefore it is clear that Perihan and her daughters will not get the protection they need in Turkey, and must be granted sanctuary in the UK.

In addition to this, discrimination and persecution of Kurds in Turkey is rife.

Get involved

You can read a letter from Perihan’s support group, Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS), here, including how to sign up to the email list to be kept up to date with developments.

To see the NCADC report click here

Children Deported To Kabul Will Face Horrible Risks

By Dr Gill Gillespie, UK Director:

This article exposes the fact that the United Kingdom is the only European country willing to forcibly deport children back to countries such as Afghanistan (and Iran) where they will face such totally unacceptable risks.  The Iranian Refugees Action Network is totally opposed to this on human rights grounds and will continue to be active in bringing attention to this inhumane practice.

by Alice Farmer
Published in: Public Service Europe
February 10, 2012 and reproduced  by Human Rights Watch here:

Picture your 16-year-old son, brother, cousin or friend. Picture him without his parents in a strange country, where he is picked up by uniformed officials and put on a plane alone. Picture him dropped off in a strife-ridden city, like Kabul or Baghdad, and left to fend for himself. Picture having no idea where he will end up.

That is what the United Kingdom Border Agency wants to do to migrant children in Britain. It has a proposal to start deporting unaccompanied 16 and 17-year-old Afghans early this year, even if it cannot find the children’s families back in Afghanistan. It is quite obvious that children returning to Afghanistan, especially under these circumstances, face risks of destitution, violence, and recruitment into armed forces. 

Yet Britain is not the only country that wants to send children back: Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands are all involved in a European platform addressing the issue. Unaccompanied migrant children, including Afghans, often travel for months in arduous conditions without their parents to get to Britain or other countries in northern Europe. They are vulnerable to exploitation and take on dangerous work to pay their way.

The UK took one positive step recently to protect migrant children. Children’s commissioner Maggie Atkinson recently called a foul and put an end to parts of the secret ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that sent migrant children back to France with little protection. Human Rights Watch’s research in France found that migrant children in transit zones faced degrading treatment by police, detention with adults, little protection from traffickers, and a rapid screening system procedurally stacked against them. Many were summarily deported to their country of origin or even to a third country they had travelled through, regardless of whether they had family or ties there. 

The decision to stop sending back minors under the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ shows the need to be incredibly cautious about deporting children. They are getting sent back to horrible risks. But Britain has not yet got it right when it comes to unaccompanied migrant children. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England just issued a new report Landing in Dover, which says that migrant children are detained and questioned for hours even if they arrive needing medical care. It shows the need to revise policies so that children who arrive in the UK will immediately have access to guardianship assistance and legal help. 

Britain can put standards in place that prevent children from facing irreparable harm when they are returned to other countries. The UK needs clear, formal procedures for making decisions about sending children back to other countries, subject to an effective appeals process. Britain should protect the children’s best interests, making sure they have a guardian, and making sure social services are included in decision-making as well as the UKBA. Return plans need to be sustainable – so children go back to somewhere they can build a life, not somewhere they will just be forced to leave again.

The UKBA should put its plans to deport children to Kabul on indefinite hold. Countries can, with appropriate safeguards, return children who arrive without immigration status. But let’s make sure there are fair, thorough processes – and no more gentleman’s agreements.