Sunday , 2 April 2023

Turkey may deport Iranian asylum seeker who is facing prison, son

jpost – The Turkish authorities plan to deport Iranian woman Maryam Ramezanpour who is seeking asylum in Eskisehir, Turkey back to the Islamic Republic, and she is currently on a hunger strike.

The Jerusalem Post has secured information from Uzay Bulut, a Turkish political analyst and research fellow for the Philos Project, who is in contact with a close friend of Ramezanpour.

Ramezanpour started her hunger strike four days ago to demand her release and that she not be deported.

Ramezanpour, who was born in 1987 in the city of Baft, the capital of Baft County in the Kerman Province, fled the Islamic Republic of Iran because her husband, a member of the US-sanctioned Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), beat her.

Bulut told the Post that Ramezanpour’s friend told her that “if Turkey deports Maryam and her son to Iran, the Iranian regime will take her son and she’ll go to prison.” 

 The Turkish flag flies at the Embassy of Turkey in Washington, US, August 6, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)

The Turkish flag flies at the Embassy of Turkey in Washington, US, August 6, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)

Ramezanpour fled to Turkey in 2016 and re-married an Iranian named Poura Ebrahimi who is currently in Switzerland where he is trying to secure refuge for Maryam and her eight-year-old son, Sayed Arman, from her first marriage. Ebrahimi is a refugee in Switzerland.

According to Bulut, the Turkish police detained Maryam five days ago and “put her in the deportation center of the immigration office in the city of Kutahya.” Maryam has not been given reasons for her deportation. The Post sent numerous press queries on Tuesday to the Turkish government for comment.

The Post‘s efforts to reach the Kutahya detention were not successful.

The Post obtained a copy of Ramezanpour’s 2016 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asylum application which is still pending. 

How is Ramezanpour being treated in the deportation center?

Ramezanpour told her husband and her close friend, according to Bulut, that the “authorities in the deportation center are trying to force her to eat by mental torture. The authorities have told her that she needs to end the hunger strike or else she’ll face harsh consequences. Her friend and her husband have told me that her life is in danger. And her son is staying with a friend of hers right now.“

Bulut said “The immigration authorities tried to deport Maryam to Iran in 2019 as well. The way the authorities in Turkey treat Maryam is completely inhumane, arbitrary and unlawful. Maryam is an asylum seeker and has rights according to international conventions, to which Turkey is also a signatory, such as the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees.

“In 2020, the European Union reportedly paid the final installment of a €6 billion fund to Turkey as part of a deal on hosting refugees. However, because of the close relationship between the regimes of Turkey and Iran, Turkey is still an extremely unsafe and unstable country for dissident Iranians in Turkey. “