Kurdish political refugees in Turkey risk deportation to Iran and execution

Turkey's Directorate General of Migration Management has rejected the asylum request of the Iranian Kurdish political refugee Peyman Mola Mirzaie and ruled for his deportation along with his family, despite the international protection order issued by the United Nations. Mirzaie has been held at an Ankara repatriation center for the last month and faces the risk of execution if he is sent back to Iran.

İrfan Tunççelik / Gazete Duvar

The Turkish Interior Ministry's Directorate General of Migration Management has rejected the asylum request of the Iranian Kurdish political refugee Peyman Mola Mirzaie and his wife Zhina Fatemeh Ebrahimi. The refugees, who have two children, have stated that they will face the risk of execution if they are sent back to Iran. 

The family has been living in Turkey for the last nine years and their second child was born in the country. Although the United Nations issued an international protection order for them, Turkey has rejected the protection order for Peyman Mola Mirzaie.

Last month, Mirzaei went to the Directorate General of Migration Management to give his monthly signature but was detained there and taken to Ankara's Akyurt Repatriation Center. 

Mirzaie announced in a video on Twitter that he and his family risk being sent back to Iran. He stated that the cases against them in Iran have not yet been finalized and that they could face long prison sentences or even execution there. 

Mirzaie's wife, Zhino Fatemeh Ebrahimi, said: "For three years, the Directorate General of Migration Management has been giving us a lot of trouble. They say that we are not refugees. We are political refugees and if we are sent to Iran we will be killed."

She said that they met with immigration officers in a very stressful meeting and that they were not provided with Kurdish translation even though Kurdish is the second biggest language in Turkey. 

She said: “I didn't understand a lot of what was said in that interview. I objected and expressed that I did not understand but they wanted me to write that I did not agree to be interviewed. They registered us as two people whose marriage was not approved by their families. This is not true. We are political refugees."

She further stated that her husband has been held in the repatriation center for 28 days.

The family's lawyer Mahmut Kaçan said that the family filed a lawsuit against Migration Management Directorate's decision for Mirzaie's deportation as well as his detention at the repatriation center. "No decision has been yet given with regards to both of our applications; the process in ongoing," the lawyer said, adding that the court should normally review the case and give a ruling in 15 days. He said that if the local court rules in favor of deportation, they will take their case to the Constitutional Court. 

(English version by Can Bodrumlu)