BY ONDER DOLUTAS
A letter from Rohrbach prison
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 32, September 14-20, 2008
Since May 2008, I have been detained in Rohrbach prison due to an extradition request by the government of Turkey. In order to protest the decision of Koblenz Higher Regional Court-dated August 25, 2008 – that does not take into account my political refugee status granted by British government under the 1951 Geneva Convention. I hereby declare that I will go on indefinite hunger strike on Monday September 08, 2008.
As in the case of countless examples before mine, I was subjected to the persecution by the Turkish state because of my political views that forced me to leave Turkey in 2001. I came to Britain and upon arrival in the UK applied for political asylum. Upon successful application, I was granted refugee status by the British authorities. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to pursue my academic studies and career that was disrupted by my persecution at the hands of the regime in power in Turkey. I am currently a PhD candidate in the area of financial computing at the Brunel University in London. I have been granted British citizenship.
On May 23, 2008, travelling on my British passport from London to Germany to visit my relative I was arrested and then put into jail. Since then, I have been waiting for the legal process to be completed but, the shocking decision of the Higher Regional Court Koblenz pushes me to use my only tool, the right of hunger strike, in order to protest against that outrageous decision. The decision is unacceptable and does not conform to the Geneva Convention of 1951.
The Higher Regional Court does not take my political refugee status into consideration which has been granted by Great Britain and denies me the rights provided by the 1951 Geneva Convention while taking decisions. As far as Koblenz Higher Regional Court is concerned being a victim of fascist persecution, being subjected to torture, ill-treatment and unfair trial at specially designed court are not sufficient reasons to stop extradition process in my case. Koblenz Higher Regional Court, considers my absence and not being represented by a lawyer at the trials in Turkey as a fault on my part.
A very similar case to mine was concluded on 15.08.2008 at Cologne Higher Regional Court. The decision of the Cologne Higher Regional Court taken on 15.08.2008 states that such cases could not be seen as the victims fault according to 1951 Geneva Convention. In that case the request for extradition by the government of Turkey was denied. I expect and demand the same decision.
In the light of the above points, I once again declare that I will start a hunger strike on September 8, 2008, to protest the latest decision of Koblenz Higher Regional Court that does not recognize my political refugee status granted by British authorities and that does not conform to the Geneva Convention of 1951. (Bulatlat.com)
From 1995 to 2000 Onder Dolutas had been a student of marine engineering at Istanbul University, where he participated in the democratic activities of the university’s students’ union. He was arrested on trumped up charges and brought to court in Turkey. He fled to Britain in 2001 and applied for refugee status, which was granted in January,2003.