Bulgaria's Ombudsman Calls 'Unconstitutional' Expulsion of G?len Supporter to Turkey

Crime | August 12, 2016, Friday // 08:21
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Ombudsman Calls 'Unconstitutional' Expulsion of G?len Supporter to Turkey File photo, BGNES

The actions of Bulgarian authorities, who handed over Turkish national Abdullah B?y?k to Turkey on Wednesday, contravene the constitution as well as Bulgarian and international laws, National Ombudsman Maya Manolova said on Thursday.

B?y?k, a businessman residing in Bulgaria since early 2016, was denied political asylum on July 29, months after an extradition request from Turkey was rejected twice.

"I was made familiar with the expulsion... by the media. The Interior Ministry did not fulfil its obligation under the act on foreign nationals in Bulgaria to inform me of the expulsion so that I can provide oversight on this action as stipulated by the law."

The expulsion warrant was not to be executed immediately, she told reporters, adding the Constitution's Article 28 and 29, which ban humiliating and denigrating treatment, and the foreign nationals act's Article 44a, under which a person that has been imposed expulsion should not be sent to a country where he would face persecution or inhumane and humiliating treatment.

In March, a court ruled B?y?k was not to be extradited as he could be facing political repressions.

"The way the expulsion was carried out, it did not allow Turkish national B?y?k to demand the halt of the immediate execution of the order and somehow to organize his defense," Manolova added.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova admitted the procedure had not been strictly followed, with neither the Ombudsman not human rights organizations having been informed.

Manolova confirmed that the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee had not been informed of the extradition. The BHC has a cooperation agreement with the ministry's Migration Directorate.

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Tags: Abdullah B?y?k, turkey, expulsion, extradition, Fethullah Gulen
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