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InterviewTurkey, Physical and sexual violence by police against 100+ Ahmadi asylum-seekers

Turkey, Physical and sexual violence by police against 100+ Ahmadi asylum-seekers

Willy Fautré interviewed Ms Hadil El Khouli, the spokesperson of the Ahmadi asylum-seekers, for The European Times.

Willy Fautre
Willy Fautrehttps://www.hrwf.eu
Willy Fautré, former chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Parliament. He is the director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), an NGO based in Brussels that he founded in December 1988. His organization defends human rights in general with a special focus on ethnic and religious minorities, freedom of expression, women’s rights and LGBT people. HRWF is independent from any political movement and any religion. Fautré has carried out fact-finding missions on human rights in more than 25 countries, including in perilous regions such as in Iraq, in Sandinist Nicaragua or in Maoist held territories of Nepal. He is a lecturer in universities in the field of human rights. He has published many articles in university journals about relations between state and religions. He is a member of the Press Club in Brussels. He is a human rights advocate at the UN, the European Parliament and the OSCE.

Willy Fautré interviewed Ms Hadil El Khouli, the spokesperson of the Ahmadi asylum-seekers, for The European Times.

On 24 May, over 100 members of the Ahmadi Religion – women, children and elderly people – from seven Muslim-majority countries, where they are considered heretics, presented themselves at the Turkish-Bulgarian border to lodge a claim for asylum with the Bulgarian Border Police but they were denied access to it by the Turkish authorities.

A few days later, a Turkish court released a deportation order concerning over 100 members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light from seven countries. Many of them, especially in Iran, will face imprisonment and may be executed if they are sent back to their country of origin. On 2 June, the lawyers of the group lodged an appeal.

Willy Fautré interviewed Ms Hadil El Khouli, the spokesperson of the Ahmadi asylum-seekers, for The European Times. Hadil El Khouli is a member of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light community in London and she is the human rights outreach coordinator at the religion.

Interviewing Hadil El Khouli

European Times: For several days, over 100 Ahmadis from seven countries have been stuck at the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. What is their situation?

Hadil El Khouli:  I woke up on horrible news this morning that literally made my stomach turn.

Just as we filed an appeal yesterday against a deportation order by Turkish authorities to return 104 members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, reports emerged of physical violence, torture and threats of sexual violence by the Turkish police in Edirne, against our members in detention.

A health report put together by the legal team representing the group shows that 32 out of 104 members in detention reported injuries and bruises from the beating, including 10 women and 3 children.

European Times: How did you get to know the testimony of one of the victims?

Hadil El Khouli: Through a leaked audio recording from inside detention, Puria Lotfiinallou, a 26-year-old Iranian youth, recounts harrowing details of the severe beatings he and other members endured.

Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light - Puria Lotfiinallou is on the right. He was threatened with sexual violence by the Turkish Gendarmerie.
Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light – Puria Lotfiinallou is on the right. He was threatened with sexual violence by the Turkish Gendarmerie – Photos provided by Hadil El Khouli

He said:

“They hit me and knocked my head on the ground. They took me to the police station, pulled my hair, hit me on the ground several times and beat me.”

Physical violence was not the only form of abuse the group was exposed to. Puria then proceeded to narrate how Turkish Gendarmerie threatened him with sexual violence, asking him to perform oral sex on him, and saying that they would kill him if he tells anyone.

He said:

“Then they took me to the bathroom and here he told me that you should give me a blow job…they told us to falsely say that we are fine and if we don’t say that we are fine, we will hit you and kill you.”

As Puria’s disturbing account was heard over the phone, I could not get his voice out of my mind, a visible stutter could be heard out of fear and shock of what he witnessed.

European Times: What sort of violence were other Ahmadis subjected to?

Hadil El Khouli: Puria also added how even the most vulnerable people were not spared. Elderly men and women with bad health conditions, were beaten until they fell unconscious.

“They treat us like prisoners. Where I was, they beat a 75-year-old man and bruised his leg, and they didn’t even spare an old man. They even took sister Zahra (51 years old) and beat her. She fell unconscious on the ground and her condition was bad, but no one was even looking at her.”

Puria’s account is just one of many we have been receiving over the past few days from men and women of various ages and nationalities, showing Turkish authorities’ deliberate targeting of our members in detention. It is an outrageous violation of international human rights law, international refugee law and freedom of religion.

European Times: What do the Ahmadi asylum-seekers risk if they are sent back to their country of origin?

Hadil El Khouli: The 104 asylum seekers, including 27 women and 22 children from over seven different countries, come from Muslim-majority countries where they are considered heretics and infidels. They are at risk of cruel and inhumane treatment, imprisonment and even death sentence in a country like Iran if Turkey deports them back to their countries of origin.

European Times: How do the Turkish and foreign media cover this issue?

Hadil El Khouli: The tragedy of this pressing situation is being made worse by the media’s absence on the spot and lack of reporting on this issue. There was however a Scottish journalist who tried to cover the issue. He was beaten by the police and detained.

We have been struggling to get international media’s attention to properly report on such an urgent humanitarian crisis. The Turkish state media is reporting false news accusing the journalist of being an agent and a spy for the UK.

Turkey must be held accountable for these grave human rights abuses, the perpetrators must be prosecuted, reparations must be delivered and justice must be served for the victims.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Shall anyone seek contact with Ms. Hadil El Khouli, her contact are: hadil.elkhouly@gmail.com or +44 7443 106804

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DISCLAIMER TRANSLATIONS: All articles in this site are published in English. The translated versions are done through an automated process known as neural translations. If in doubt, always refer to the original article. Thank you for understanding.

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  1. تركيا مارست الارهاب و العنف بحق مجموعة دين السلام و النور الأحمدي يجب ادانتها دوليا على جريمتها القبيحة و معاقبتها

    • This teaches the whole world a good lesson. If you are not being good, one day you might do wrong to the wrong people, and you are going to be held accountable by God, and witnessed by the whole world. No more hidding.
      The truth of all the iligal abuse on behalf of the authorities rhat years on end refugees have been gone through will be finally known by every single ham being in this world. I am so happy about this moment.

  2. أشخاص أبرياء لم يفعلوا شيء سوى أنهم طلبوا اللجوء قانونياً طلباً للأمان فهل ولكن للأسف قابلهم قوات الامن التركية بالعنف والضرب واطلاق النار والسجن . كيف يسجن الأطفال ويمنع عنهم الطعام وكيف تعملون النساء وكبار السن بالقسوة والأضهاد والازدراء والعذاب الجسدي والنفسي هل هناك قانون او شريعة تسمح بذالك ؟ يجب على الامم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي ومنظمات حقوق الأنسان التدخل الفوري لوقف معاناة هؤلاء الأبرياء وأعطائهم حق اللجوء الأمن

  3. All the free people in the world must unite in order to solve the crisis of the detainees in Turkey and put pressure on the Turkish authorities to cancel the deportation decision and deal humanely with the detainees

  4. Turkey must be held accountable for this horrible inhumance acts. If not it will keep on exercising such abuses and nothing will ever change. How much more must these people suffer? Isn’t eneough what they had to endure already in their home countries of opression and abuse? I dream of a world in which Humanity prevails over greed, egos, abuse, agendas, power injustice, man-made borders and false sentiments of nationalism.

  5. Turkey has to be held accountable for these crimes against venerable innocent people, even prisoners guilty of crimes shouldn’t be subjected to this horrific treatment. The Ahmadi Religion members have experienced harrowing treatment non of which is acceptable by any means. Turkey has to be investigated under international law and held accountable for crimes against humanity.

  6. This is absolutely criminal and illigal behaviour from Turkey and the whole world will see and condemn

  7. Thank you so much for reporting on this. Makes you wonder how many times this has happened without anyone knowing. Please follow up on this and keep us posted on how this case turns out.

  8. What a horrific behaviour, a treatment that reminds of a country like Iran. They thought these guys were helpless and had no media attention, so thank you European times for covering the events that are taking place. In the name of the people that ever suffered on the border from police violence, we call upon the nations that stand up for human rights to give their full support so that something like this will never happen again.

  9. We thank The European Times for its support and spreading the truth,
    Those detained in danger now must be released by the Turkish authorities who have violated human rights

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