Court backs Kurdish terror suspect’s extradition
7 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Supreme Court gave approval on Friday for the Netherlands to extradite PKK leader Nuriye Kesbir to Turkey, where she is suspected of terrorism. But Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner will have final say.
Kesbir has staunchly fought her extradition, claiming that she will not receive a fair trial in Turkey. She also claims she will be jailed for life and will be subjected to torture, news agency ANP reported.
The Supreme Court said her fears are not without basis, but this did not exclude her from extradition. The court advised Minister Donner to demand guarantees from Turkey that she will not be tortured and ensure she obtains a fair trial.
Turkey has requested Kesbir’s extradition on allegations she was involved in 25 terrorist attacks against primarily military targets in the east of the mainly Islamic country.
Kesbir — who was reportedly a member of the PKK presidential council — denies the allegations and claims she was only involved in the PKK women’s movement. Amsterdam Court had previously ruled against her extradition.
The PKK is a Kurdish paramilitary group that has been involved in a bitter war for independence from Turkey for more than a decade.
More than 30,000 people were killed and over a million displaced from their homes — largely in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern part of the country, BBC reported.
Kesbir — who will temporarily remain in custody — warned after the ruling she will go on a hunger strike in protest against the court’s ruling. Her defiance struck a chord among dozens of sympathisers who cheered from the court’s public gallery.
The lawyer representing Kesbir was totally amazed at the court’s ruling: “The Supreme Court has swept the total legitimacy of the Kurdish battle from the table”.
“It is now up to Donner and thus the politicians. I hope the Lower House (of Parliament) will step in, but I have little faith in this,” he said.
The lawyer said he will take the legal battle all the way. If Minister Donner approves the extradition, he can still submit an application for an injunction. If that fails, the final step will be to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + PKK + Nuriye Kesbir