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Urgent Interventions

Acts of harassment against defenders working on the rights of minorities in Greece, including the arbitrary detention for a night and expulsion from Greece of Mr. Mustafa Kaymakçı

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CASE GRE 261016

Arbitrary detention / Release / Expulsion /Restrictions to freedom of movement /

Ill-treatmentin detention / Acts of harassment / Surveillance

TheInternational Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Greece.

Brief description of the situation:

TheInternational Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Greek HelsinkiMonitor (GHM), a member of OMCT SOS-Torture network, about acts of harassmentagainst defenders working on the rights of minorities in Greece, including thearbitrary detention for a night and expulsion from Greece of Mr. Mustafa Kaymakçı, President of theorganisation “Rhodes, Kos and the Dodecanese Turks Culture and SolidarityAssociation”[1].

According tothe information received, from September 19 to 22, 2016 a nine-person delegation[2]conducted a fact-finding mission to Western Thrace on the situation of theTurkish Minority of Western Thrace. On September 21, 2016, during thejourney from Komotini (Rodopi) to Didymoteicho (Evros), the delegation’s vanwas tailed by two unknown cars taking turns for an hour drive. After thedelegation stopped at a petrol station near Didumoteicho, the second car alsoparked on a side unpaved road. After seeing that some members of the delegationwere taking pictures of their license plate, the car’s drivers sped away.

InDidymoteicho, the members of the Turkish minority association Educational andCultural Association of Didymoteicho Evros Muslims informed the delegation thatthey are routinely surveilled by police security agents during their activities,as an act of intimidation.

Moreover,on August 30, 2016, the Greek police arrested Mr. Kaymakçı in a restaurant atPlatani (Kermentes) in Kos (İstanköy). They took him to the police stationwhere Mr. Kaymakci was informed that official “national measure” of prohibitionto enter Greece number P358265 had been issued against him by the HellenicPolice Headquarters/State Security Division/Department on Social Issues andCombatting Racism on July 18, 2016. Mr. Kaymakçı was however not notified ofsuch a prohibition when he entered the country in Rhodes on August 27 with theaim to conduct a research for a new project of his organisation aboutgeography, architecture and Turkish traditions in Rhodes and Kos.

Hewas not provided a copy of such official document either at the moment of hisarrest. Instead, he was provided with a document specifying that he could bedetained up to six months renewable once for another twelve months, underArticle 18(g) of Law 3907/2011 for “risk of absconding”, in case the individualrefuses to be returned, expressly refuses to comply with the return decision,holds forged documents, provides false information to authorities, has criminalconvictions or charges against him or is a suspect to have committed or tocommit serious crimes, and in case of absence of travel documents, passedabsconding and refusal to comply with existing entry ban. None of these casesapplied though to Mr. Kaumakci. The detention decision mentioned in the end theright to appeal before the administrative court.

Mr.Kaymakçı was held in detention in the Kos police station for one night. OnAugust 31 he was asked to sign a document in Greek, which he was told was aformal declaration that he was waving his right to use legal remedies andwished to be repatriated. He was not given a copy of that declaration. Instead,he was given Dodecanese Police Division decision number 6634/1/16/9267b forrepatriation with detention and for inclusion of his name in the National Listof Undesirable Persons for three years, in which there was a reference to theformal declaration. It was also mentioned that he would not be freed forreasons of public order and national security, without mentioning on whichgrounds,, and could be detained for six months plus an additional twelve monthsif necessary. Orally, he was told that they would detain him indefinitely if hedid not sign the formal declaration. Afterwards, he was expelled to Bodrum(Alikarnasso) Turkey at 16h30 on August 31

Mr.Kaymakçı reported that he was detained at the Kos police station in anovercrowded room of 30 square meters with 20 other persons with only a smallwindow, in conditions amounting to ill-treatment.

TheInternationalSecretariat of OMCT would like to stress that the legal provisionsused for both the detention and the repatriation decisions were not applicableto Mr. Kaymakci as he had not entered unlawfully the country and was notstaying in the country in defiance of any decision to leave he might have beenaware of. Moreover, he should have been notified in advance of any decisionregarding him and been handed over the legal documentation of the decision toput him on the Undesirable Persons List, as well as been given a time frame tocomply with such order.

OMCTfears that such arbitrary detention and repatriation of Mr. Kaymakci, who hadvisited Rhodes without any problems in September 2015, only aims at sanctioninghis legitimate activities in defense of the rights of minorities on Greek soil.In fact, the 18 July 2016 decision against him was issued on the very same daythat the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) widely published aresolution submitted by its member organisation the “Rhodes, Kos and theDodecanese Turks Culture and Solidarity Association” on the situation of theTurkish community in Rhodes and Kos[3].

Ithas to be recalled that the issue of the violation of human rights of Greek citizens of Turkish descent in Rhodesand Kos was addressed in February 2011 by a reportof the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights,[4]that was followed by a PACEresolution on the same topic in March 2012.[5]Moreover, on August 26, 2016 the UN Committee on the Elimination of RacialDiscrimination (CERD) expressed concern in its ConcludingObservations on Greece regarding the treatment reserved toethnic minorities in the country, particularly focusing on those living in theislands of Rhodes and Kos, denied the right to self-identification.[6]

The InternationalSecretariat of OMCT condemns the arbitrary detention, ill-treatmentand expulsion of Mr. Kaymakçı, as well as the acts of surveillance against allminority rights activists in Greece, as they seem to only aim at sanctioningtheir legitimate human rights activities, and calls upon the Greek authoritiesto put an end to anyrestrictions to his freedom of movement.

Actions requested:

Please writeto the authoritiesin Greece, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical andpsychological integrity of Mr. Mustafa Kaymakçı and all other minority rightsactivists, as well as of all human rights defenders in the country;

ii. Guarantee Mr. Mustafa Kaymakçı’s freedom of movement andwithdraw the prohibition to enter the country which was posed against him, asit aims only at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against all minorityrights defenders in Greece;

iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on HumanRights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations onDecember 9, 1998, especially Articles 1 and 12.2; and

v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect forhuman rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rightsinstruments ratified by Greece.


· Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. AlexisTsipras, Email:

· Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy ofGreece, Mr. Giannis Mouzalas, Fax: +30 213 136 4418,

· Alternate Minister for Citizens Protectionof Greece, Mr. Nikolaos Toskas, Fax: +30 210 692 9764,

· Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece,Mr. Ioannis Tsaousis, First Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Greece to theUnited Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 732 21 50; Email:

· Ambassador of Greece, H.E. EleftheriaGalathianaki, Embassy of Greece in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: (+32) 2 545 5585,Email:

· Permanent Representative of Greece, H.E.Papastavrou Andreas, Permanent Representation to the European Union (EU), Fax:+32 2 5515651, 5127912

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy ofGreece in your respective country.


Geneva, October 26, 2016

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of thisappeal in your reply.

[1] The Rhodes, Kos and the DodecaneseTurks Culture and Solidarity Association has the aim of defending the culturalrights of the Turkish community in Rhodes and Kos, by preserving their culturalidentity, language and traditions, in particular through the promotion ofbilingual education. It also carries out advocacy activities at theinternational level.

[2] Thenine-person delegation included two MEPs NilsTorvalds MEP (ALDE) who belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finlandand is Co-Chairperson of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, NationalCommunities and Languages and Pal CsakyMEP (EPP) who belongs to the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Moreover, itincluded seven NGO representatives: Federation of Western Thrace Turks inEurope (ABTTF) President Halit HabipOğlu, Vice-President Mehmet Hüseyin,Head Office Manager Engin Soyyılmaz,and Member of the International Affairs and Lobbying Group Ali Çavuş, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)Secretary General Marino Busdachin,Member of the Board of Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC) and Vice-President ofthe European Free Alliance (EFA) MiguelMartinez Tomey, and Spokesperson of the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) Panayote Dimitras.

[3] See the resolution at

[4] http:/



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