Belarus set to extradite Kurdish activist to Turkey. He may face torture

Hicri Mamas. Photo:

The Supreme Court of Belarus has rejected the appeal by Hicri Mamas, a Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin. Earlier, his legal representative filed a complaint against General Prosecutor’s authorising Mamas’ extradition to his homeland, where he is accused of ‘impingement on unity and territorial integrity of the state’.

According to Hicri Mamas, he never committed any of the above crimes in the Turkish territory. He claims the criminal prosecution is politically motivated as he showed up at peaceful rallies and encouraged the youth to join the Democratic Party of Peoples. Mamas asked for the international protection in the Republic of Belarus. However, on February 5, the Department of Citizenship and Migration turned the application down. In early April, Tsentralny district court of Minsk left this decision in force.

On April 23, Deputy Prosecutor General Alyaksei Stuk satisfied the request of the Justice Ministry and gave a go-ahead for the extradition of Hicri Mamas for the prosecution under the art. 302/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code.

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The decision taken by the Supreme Court is non-appealable. Belarusian human rights watchdog Human Constanta considers that the decision violates the domestic legislation and international agreements of Belarus since there is every likelhood that Hicri Mamas might be tortured in Turkey.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court says they found no circumstances that could threaten Mamas’ life and health in Turkey and that the authorities have provided assurance that Hicri will not be subject to torture or degrading treatment. In turn, human rights activists refer to numerous reports about torture cases in Turkey.

Human Constanta pleaded a petition to the UN Human Rights Committee, and the agency has taken the interim measures that pause the process of extradition until the case is considered on merits by the Committee. However, the Foreign Ministry states that its decisions are not binding upon Belarus.

On July 1, Belarusian-Turkish flights will resume. Human rights activists believe that Mamas Hicri might be delivered to Turkey on that day., following Human Constanta