The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Greece expressed “serious concern” about reports that Turkish citizen Bulut Yayla, an asylum seeker, was abducted in Athens last week and taken back to Turkey.
“UNHCR is particularly concerned about the reports that the Turkish citizen had attempted to apply for asylum and was unable,” said the organization, which called for an investigation into the matter.
Human rights activists and the main leftist opposition SYRIZA party claim that witnesses saw Yayla being bundled into an unmarked police car in the central Athens neighborhood of Exarchia.
Yayla, 24, is a Kurd and reportedly a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which has claimed responsibility for bomb attacks.
“Were the reports to be correct, the abduction would constitute a severe compromise to the rule of law, while the forcible return to the county of origin of an asylum seeker risks being in violation of a number of international obligations, to which Greece is bound,” said the UNHCR.