Appeals Court rejects Turkish extradition request for 21-year-old woman

The Appeals Council on Wednesday rejected a request by Turkish authorities for the extradition of Halaz Secer, 21, who had been arrested in Athens in December with another eight Turkish nationals of Kurdish descent.

The appeals court judges said the young woman would not have a fair trial in Turkey, in a decision similar to that of two more from the group.

According to the judges, the crimes attributed to her by the Turkish authorities – such as participation in protests – do not constitute acts of terrorism or wrongdoing.

“What is especially interesting,” leading prosecutor Ourania Stathea said, “is that they are charging her with creating and leading an armed terrorism organization since 2007 – in other words, when she was 10 years old.” This, she added, would not prevent Turkish authorities from “believing that she led a terrorist group at an even younger age – say, 7 or 6 years of age.” She called the evidence “vague and inconclusive” and the charges “unfounded”.

Following the trial, the 21-year-old was led back to jail, where she is held for offences committed in Greece. According to sources, Turkey has requested the extradition of a fourth person in the group, a request that will be discussed within the week.