From: Exit News
Alleged Gulenist Appeals Albania’s Refusal to Grant Him Asylum

Turkish citizen Selami Simsek has turned to the National Committee on Asylum and Refugees in a bid to strike down the Albanian government’s decision to reject his asylum request.

Simsek’s attorney, Elton Hyseni, argued that the decision was taken in contradiction with the law, and the proper assessment on the risk to Simsek’s life was not made. He added that the decision was also held secret for several months.

A decision is expected to be announced on Wednesday, August 18.

The National Committee on Asylum and Refugees is an appeals body foreigners can turn to when their asylum requests in Albania are refused. It is made up of 4 government representatives, a State Intelligence Agency representative, and an Albanian Helsinki Committee member.

On July 2, Albanian authorities refused Selami Simsek’s asylum request. He had been accused by Turkish authorities of being a supporter of the Gulenist movement, and was wanted in Turkey.

Simsek’s asylum request being rejected means that he will be extradited to Turkey, where the Gulenist movement is deemed a terrorist one, and its supporters are jailed and have suffered mistreatment.

Simsek was arrested alongside another Turkish citizen, Harun Celik, as they were travelling to Rinas airport, from where they would depart for Canada using fake passports.

Celik was sentenced to 5 years in prison and after serving his sentence was deported to Turkey, despite the fact that he had sought political asylum in Albania.