2008-11-12  

Norwegian human rights lawyer and Member of the EU Turkey Civic Commission refused entry into Turkey

Ararat News -Publishing (ANP) – Roni Alasor, 10/11/2008 / Brussels – The Norwegian human rights lawyer and member of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) refused entry into Turkey. And now EUTCC urges the European Commission to bring this case to the attention of the Turkish authorities and insist that Turkey must comply with its promises to adhere to European human rights standards.

On 7 November this year, he was refused entry into Turkey. He had been invited by the Working Group on Justice of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (of which he is also a member) to a seminar in Istanbul.

In a statement, EUTCC has underlined that the Turkish decision is a clear violation of human rights, and yet another confirmation that Turkey does not follow up with sincerity its stated intention to become a member of the European Union.

Now the EUTCC urges that the Turkish authorities to revoke its decision to ban Jon Rud from entry into Turkey and EUTCC ask that the European Commission to bring this case to the attention of the Turkish authorities and insist that Turkey must comply with its promises to adhere to European human rights standards.

Mr. Rud was formerly Chairman of the Norwegian Bar Human Rights Committee and of Amnesty International in Norway. He had also played a big role in establishing of the Norwegian Council for the Rights of the Kurdish People already 1993. This NGO, officially recognised by the Norwegian authorities as a humanitarian organization, is working for an improvement of the human rights situation of the Kurds and a solution of the "Kurdish problem", based on the principle of change through democratic and non-violent means.

In 1999, Mr. Rud was declared an "unwanted person" by the Turkish Government, following various speeches and media appearances, which were seen to be "hostile" to Turkey. Before arriving in Turkey, there had been contacts with the Turkish Ministry of thee Interior and with two Turkish Ambassadors, who had examined his case. Based on these contacts, Mr. Rud was led to believe that he would be allowed entry. However, upon arrival at the airport in Istanbul, he was stopped and put back on the next returning plane to Europe. The Turkish police told him that he would never be permitted entry into Turkey, without giving any reason for this drastic decision.

In the spring of 1999, Mr. Jon Rud, a Norwegian lawyer, Chairman of the Norwegian Bar Human Rights Committee, was informed by the Turkish Embassy in Oslo that he had been declared an unwanted person in Turkey, and hence would not be permitted to enter Turkey.

In March 1999, the Norwegian Bar Association and members of the Norwegian Parliament asked two lawyers, including Mr. Rud, and a Member of Parliament, to visit the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan, in order to investigate the working conditions of his lawyers.

In May 1999, Mr. Rud received a phone call from the Turkish Embassy in Oslo, informing him that the Turkish Government had decided that he was an "unwanted person" in Turkey. He was informed that the Ambassador as a matter of courtesy had instructed that Mr. Rud be informed about this decision. He was told that the normal procedure is to neither inform the "unwanted" person or give any reason for the decision, nor to inform the person if the decision eventually is revoked.

In a subsequent conversation with the Ambassador, Mr. Rud asked about the reasons for this ban. He was not given a clear answer, but it was implicitly gleaned that all his writing, speeches and appearances in the media were seen to be hostile to Turkey. Mr. Rud was also given to understand that the ban might be reconsidered if he would sign a declaration that he would no longer appear as "hostile" to Turkey. Mr. Rud did not follow up this invitation to be "more friendly" to the Turkish authorities.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry protested against the Turkish decision on various occasions, but to no avail.

Sources : EU Turkey Civic Commission and MESOP Online

http://www.araratnews.eu/nuce.php?aid=311

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