Athens, 2.6.2013

On Thursday 30.05.2013 at 9.30pm, Bulut Yayla, a 24 years old, Turkish political refugee was detained, beaten and violently abducted by people aboard a private car at the center of Athens – Greece.
Through eyewitness testimonies and research conducted by the victim’s comrades and lawyers, it was revealed that the license plate of the car in question belongs to the Greek Police. However, the police still claim they have nothing to do with the incident, despite the persistent and constant allegations of his comrades, lawyers and political actors.
Yesterday 01.06.2013, Bulut Yayla’s family announced that he is kept in custody at Istanbul’s Antiterrorist Unit. According to the victim’s allegations, a group of people speaking Greek, pushed him inside a car, using extreme violence, shutting his mouth and eyes. Then he was transferred by another car by a second group of people speaking Greek and Turkish and then a third group who spoke Turkish and English.
During his captivity Y.B. suffered violence, abuse and ill-treatment. On Friday noon, Bulut Yayla was delivered to the Police Department of Edirne from where he was transferred to Istanbul’s Antiterrorist Unit.
Bulut Yayla’s enforced disappearance is proof of the most obscure aspect of state fascism. The partner authorities of the Greek and Turkish states used brutal force and arbitrary violence, as if legal order and humans as subjects of law are non-existent. The full depreciation of political asylum processes, of extradition and deportation, the negation of judicial review and the ill-treatment of humans as if they have no voice, can create only fear, insecurity and anger to every citizen.
It is not the first time that the state authorities, under the pretext of the “war against terrorism” cooperate at international level with the goal to deny every sense of human dignity.
As lawyers, we do know that the laws and the legal procedures are under threat and will always be by the state authority itself.
In such cases of extremely unlawful para-state acts, we declare that we stand in solidarity with every victim of state arbitrariness.
We will insist in giving voice to the unfairly treated that the state wants to be silenced, to bring to the public sphere those that the obscure transnational collaborations want to wipe out; and reveal those who are responsible and hidden behind the opacity, the cover ups and lies.
We do not aim to restore legitimacy given that Yayla Bulut’s future is already known and the harm to democratic rights is irretrievable.
We denounce the Greek Police which consistently and systematically obstructs the submission of asylum claims and the asylum procedure. Yayla Bulut tried, in vain, to submit an asylum claim despite the fact that he is a political refugee and a victim of torture in Turkey due to his political convictions.
We denounce the government and its secret international agreements that led to the systematic persecution of Turkish political refugees through international arrest warrants. Now they circumvent and ridicule Justice that tried to stop cases of ungrounded extradition requests.
We aim to protect our rights and liberties and our personal dignity against a system in decline; a deteriorating system that moves from the violation of liberties to enforced disappearances and abductions of people, breaching any legitimacy whatsoever and outwardly jeopardizing even the minimum guarantees of respect for society.

Athens, 02-06-2013
Group of Lawyers for the rights of refugees and immigrants

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... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

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