Romanian MEP Ramona Strugariu, who opposed the expulsion of Turkish teacher Harun Çelik from Albania, addressed an official letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama seeking answers on the government’s decision to deport him to Turkey.
In the letter to Rama MEP Strugariu says:
“We have followed with deep concern the case of Turkish national Harun Çelik, who was expelled from Albania on January 1 and sent to Turkey, where he faces charges of supporting cleric Fetullah Gulen. We would like to have some clarifications on Mr. Çelik’s case and legal situation, especially on European and international laws that speak about extradition, the return of foreigners and the protection of asylum seekers.”
Strugariu wants to know on the basis of what procedures Çelik’s departure occurred, if there were indeed extradition requests from the Turkish state, and if so, which court approved them. She also sought to know about the request made by the Turkish teacher for asylum, a request that was denied, according to his lawyer.
The MEP stresses that any procedure for foreign nationals must follow international laws. She was among the first to respond to the EU after the deportation of Çelik. She wrote on Twitter :
“Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Albania has signed the Council of Europe Convention on Extradition. Moreover, you say that Albania is ready for the EU. Then please respect Article 19 (2) of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and do not extradite Harun Çelik to Turkey! ”
Article 19(2) stipulates that “no one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
In addition to Strugariu, German MEP Rebecca Harms has also expressed concern and has also called for an investigation.
Earlier in an exclusive interview with Exit News , the Rapporteur for Albania at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) commented on the manner in which the Harun Çelik case was handled. The CoE was told that at least two human rights conventions had been violated and that a separate report would be published.