By Dr Gill Gillespie, UK Director.
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.
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
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
On 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.
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.
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