Kurdish Refugee Still Awaiting Release from Prison in Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 21, 2018 – Nurettin Oral, a Turkish Kurd who has been granted asylum in Switzerland, expects to be released from custody in Croatia after the Constitutional Court recently upheld his complaint and quashed an earlier ruling by Vukovar County Court and the Supreme Court regarding an extradition request filed by Turkey.

The president of the Constitutional Court Miroslav Šeparović confirmed to Hina that Oral’s constitutional complaint was recently upheld and that the case has been returned to Vukovar County Court and that he should be released.

“According to the Dublin and Schengen rules, only Switzerland can decide on Oral’s extradition and no other country. The courts shouldn’t have relied on the classic extradition system but should have taken account of the fact that he has the status of a protected alien in Switzerland, where European law applies even though it is not a member of the EU,” Šeparović said.

Considering the Constitutional Court ruling, according to Oral’s attorney, Sanja Bezbradica Jelavić, there are no further grounds for the extradition and he should be released immediately, as was the case with Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić who was released from jail in 2015 on the very same day a Constitutional Court ruling was delivered. She added that she had requested Vukovar County court to immediately release Oral.

The Centre for Peace Studies NGO warned that Oral was still detained in an Osijek prison even though he was arrested more than a year ago and that he should be allowed to return to his family in Switzerland where he had been granted asylum for fear of political persecution.

The Turkish Embassy subsequently sent a reaction to Hina claiming that Oral is a member of the Kurdistan Labour Party and that charges had been brought against him for connections with various terrorist activities and the “murder of many civilians and security officers,” in Turkey and Iraq.

The embassy said that his claims that he left Turkey because of political persecution were unfounded and underscored that he was accused of attempting to secede a part of Turkish territory. “Court proceedings against him are still under way in Turkey. If Oral claims that he is innocent, he should go to Turkey and justify his claims before the court,” Turkey’s ambassador to Croatia Mustafa Babur Hizlan said.


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