A Kurdish refugee was released from a German detention centre in Bavaria on Tuesday, after being held in custody for 10 days, Özgür Politika newspaper reported.
Yaser Örnek, 27, was unlawfully detained on Turkey’s demand, his lawyer told reporters.
Örnek sought political asylum in Switzerland four years ago, and currently holds a valid Swiss residency permit, which allows him to travel in Germany and the rest of the Schengen zone.
The young Kurdish man was detained to be deported on 2 July near Munich, Özgür Politika said. Meanwhile, according to the ANF, Örnek was to be extradited to Turkey upon Ankara’s demand and a Europol wanted notice.
Örnek had faced terrorism charges during his university years in Turkey over his political activism for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Turkey’s second-largest opposition bloc. He spent three months behind bars, and was released pending trial. When the court convicted him of membership in a terrorist organisation, he left Turkey for Switzerland, and was granted political asylum in June 2018. He has held a valid residency permit since.
Turkey has recently been demanding increasingly more backing from the European Union member states for its anti-terrorism efforts, including prosecution and extraction of Kurdish activists, criminalisation of Syrian Kurdish groups not included in the bloc’s terrorist organisations list, and extradition of dozens of individuals it describes as terrorists in order to support Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 1 July said Sweden had promised to “deliver 73 terrorists”, and that several had already been extradited after the trilateral memorandum between Turkey, Finland and Sweden was signed on 28 June.
Amine Kakabaveh, a Kurdish-Swedish independent deputy in Sweden’s parliament, said in a radio interview on Monday that Stockholm had delivered “three-four people” to Turkey already. According to the Swedish MP, there were Kurdish people among the extradited who fled to Sweden to avoid retribution following them fighting against ISIS.
Kurds and allies gathered to protest Örnek’s detention several times in Bern, home to the Swiss parliament, during the 10 days he was in custody.
The activist’s detention is not legitimate, as he holds a residence permit for Switzerland, Bern Kurdish Cultural Association Co-spokesman Münir ay said at a demonstration. The Swiss Democratic Kurdish Society (CDK-S) launched a campaign for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice to “take action”, and public pressure led to Örnek’s release. He has since returned to Switzerland.