Ali El-Sulo, a Syrian refugee living in Mardin (Merdin), refused to give in to pressure to become an “agent” for the state, and made an official complaint about the people pressurising him, but then found himself accused of being a supporter of the YPG (People’s Defence Units, a Syrian Kurdish armed organisation) and taken into custody. He was sent to a repatriation centre, but after six months detention found himself refused release, this time accused of being a member of ISIS, MA reports.
Ali El-Sulo and his family migrated from Damasacus to Mardin in Turkey in 2013. In January 2021 he was summoned to the Migration Administration Office in Mardin, where the Director Sefa Kenar introduced some people to him as intelligence officers. Pressure was put on El-Sulo to become an “agent”, but he refused. He made an official complaint, an inquiry was initiated, but the prosecution dismissed the case.
Soon afterwards, El-Sulo’s house was raided, he was arrested on an accusation of “making YPG propaganda” based on old social media posts, and he was sent to a repatriation centre in Van province. An application by his lawyers to get him released at the end of his six months “administrative detention” was rejected by judges at Van’s Justice Penal Court No.2 on the basis that he was “a member of ISIS”.
Lawyer Kenan Anğay spoke to Mesopotamia Agency and confirmed that after his client’s complaint about being pressurised to become a spy, he had been arrested and a decision had been made to deport him. He said that El-Sulo was being tried in a case in the category “people who are a threat to public health or public security”, and that a decision had been made to detain El-Sulo for a further six months “administrative detention”. He said that the grounds for the decision were indicated as: “his refusal to give information about his own country, his refusal to consider collaboration and that he is a flight risk”. Anğay said that El-Sulo’s information about his country was out in the open, and that they did not know what was meant by refusal to consider collaboration.
Anğay said that despite their applications for their client’s release, the indifference of the court to the matter was clear, in particular that they had used information pertaining to someone other than his client in the grounds for rejection, saying that he was a member of ISIS, his name was Abu Yusuf, and he had been arrested trying to cross the border from Syria to Turkey illegally. He said, “The first time this happened we thought it must be an administrative error, but the same second time we appealed we received exactly the same grounds. The same sentences, the same words, right down to the commas.”
Anğay said that they intended take the matter further as the issue of grounds for court decisions in this manner was a violation of rights. He said that he was concerned that his client would be forcibly repatriated but that his life was in danger in Syria, and also that he was being held in prison conditions as if he were a remand prisoner. He stressed that the “administrative detention” was in itself a sentence, and demanded the release of his client.