Call to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Doctors Without Borders, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent for urgent action!
STOP SERBIA’S EXTRADITION OF ECEVIT PIROĞLU TO TURKEY!
Ecevit Piroğlu, a Kurd from Turkey, is a well-known political figure who has been fighting for democracy, justice and peace since 1992, giving a voice to the oppressed and underprivileged in Turkey. He has been involved in various political activities, played a key role in the student movements, and acted as director of the Human Rights Association (İHD). Piroğlu has been arrested many times for his activism and has been repeatedly imprisoned in Turkey. Following his most recent imprisonment, he was compelled to leave Turkey to escape further political persecution. On 25 June 2021, Piroğlu flew to Serbia, and was arrested after landing at the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and has been detained since that date. On 2 June 2022, Piroğlu began an indefinite hunger strike against extradition. Months later, he has lost significant weight and is losing strength and consciousness. He is now being held in solitary confinement and his life is under threat.
The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made an unscheduled visit to Serbia on June 17 and pressed Serbia to extradite Piroğlu. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Serbia on 7 September and his negotiations with Serbia on arms sales show that Serbia seems willing to sacrifice Piroğlu to benefit its diplomatic and economic interests. According to the Serbian law, anybody who has been under arrest for 12 months should be released from prison even if their trial has not concluded as such a prolonged process is considered a “violation of freedom” and “excessive imprisonment”.
We request that you to appeal to the Foreign Minister of Serbia to release Ecevit Piroğlu, grant him political asylum, and provide him with immediate medical treatment.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
Mr Nikola Selaković
Kneza Miloša 24-26, 11000 Belgrade
Republic of Serbia
Phone: +381 11 361 6333
Phone: +381 11 306 8000
For further information please contact Mr Piroğlu’s lawyers:
Mr Milan Vuković
Fax: +381 11 263 1765
Mobile +381 63 201 635
Mobile: +381 64 824 6519
We thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter.