Esmaeil Fattahi, one of four refugees from Iran facing the risk of deportation from Turkey, shared a message from the Aydın Removal Centre, via the Mesopotamia Agency, and called for international solidarity against the deportation decision.
Four refugees from Iran, who have been living in Denizli in western Turkey and who were waiting for their asylum papers, were detained last week on the grounds that they had joined a protest in Denizli against Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.
The alleged “crime” of the Iranian refugees was “disturbing public order”, according to the Turkish prosecutors.
They were reportedly first sent to the Denizli Foreigners Department, which ruled a deportation order, and then to Aydın Removal Centre on Tuesday, where they have been detained in the facility, pending deportation.
A suicide attempt every day
“They are trying to force us to sign some papers. A refugee tries to commit suicide here every day,” said Esmaeil Fattahi, one of these four refugees who faces the risk of deportation to Iran.
Fattahi has been kept in the removal centre in Turkey’s Aegean province of Aydın since 6 April.
His lawyer, Hayriye Buse Bergamalı, issued a lawsuit against the deportation decision. As the legal struggle of the refugees against the deportation decision continues, refugees are kept under grim conditions.
‘If we are sent back to Iran…’
Fattahi has finished all applications to travel to Europe and Australia has accepted his file, but due to the pandemic his travel to Australia was postponed. “I joined a protest against the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and I was detained while I was just waiting in Turkey to pass to Europe,” Fattahi said.
“I was detained and arrested in Iran because I was opposing the regime. Therefore I came to Turkey. If we are sent back to Iran, we will face life-threatening risks,” he added.
Methods to make refugees feel ‘desperate and alone’
“The officers keep forcing us to sign papers related to our deportation. They threaten us saying that we will be kept here detained unless we sign the papers,” Fattahi said.
According to Fattahi the Turkish officers working in Aydın Removal Centre have been applying “all kinds of methods to make people feel desperate and alone.” He said, “Most refugees here have no money to hire a lawyer. Since they don’t kow the language they have no idea what to do. Human rights organisations do not really monitor these places.”
On behalf of all his refugee friends with him in Aydın Removal Centre, Fattahi shared the following appeal: “We call on all human rights defenders to pledge solidarity against the violations of rights in Aydın Removal Centre.”