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Serbia Extradites Bahraini National, Ignores European Court Injunction

On Monday, Serbia unlawfully extradited a Bahraini national to his home country despite the European Court of Human Rights issuing an injunction against the extradition procedure, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights has warned.

Serbia’s decision to repatriate despite the Court’s decision would “harm Serbia and its reputation before international bodies not only in this matter but also in the context of the rule of law and respect for human rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of Serbia,” the Belgrade NGO cautioned.

The Bahraini national told the authorities he wanted to apply for asylum because he was at risk of torture, political, and religious persecution at home, the NGO explained, adding that he had been in custody in Serbia since November.

“Despite the decision by the European Court of Human Rights, which at the request of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights had issued an injunction to postpone the extradition until Feb. 25, 2022, pending the final ruling of the Court, Serbia carried out the execution, violating not only the ruling of the Court in Strasbourg but also a series of international and domestic regulations mandating respect for and protection of human rights,” the Belgrade human rights watchdog said in a press release.

In a similar case, Serbia extradited Cevdet Ayaz – a Kurdish political activist living in exile – to Turkey in 2017 despite a warning from the UN Committee against Torture, the NGO said.

Ayaz was sentenced in Turkey in absentia to 15 years in prison because of his political beliefs on the grounds of a confession he allegedly gave under torture.