Iranian refugees face deportation from Turkey over women’s rights protest

Three Iranian refugees face deportation for joining protests against Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on women’s rights and gender violence, Euronews Turkish reported on Thursday.

Turkey withdrew from the convention by presidential decree on March 19, sparking demonstrations across the country after women’s rights groups warned the decision would undermine efforts to tackle gender-based violence.

Three Iranian nationals who joined protests, and another who did not, were subsequently detained on April 6 on charges of disrupting public order, according to Euronews.

All had previously been granted conditional refugee status in Turkey but now face removal from the country after losing an appeal against their deportation order.

One of those involved, Esmaeil Fattahi, told Euronews that he had already been jailed for four years in Iran for political activity.  

“I continued with my beliefs and activism in Turkey,” he said. “Women's rights are not a problem that fits into the borders, the same problems exist in Iran.”

"Being sent to my own country means I’ll be subjected to torture and oppression,” he added. “People there have been sentenced to death."

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