Since May of this year, over 100 Ahmadis from various countries where they were heavily persecuted, have been detained by the Turkish authorities in Edirne Immigration Detention Center. They want to apply for asylum in an EU country.

Those people from the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light do not want to stay in Turkey, another Muslim majority country, where people also consider them infidels and treat them as such.

Because of this social stigmatization, their life in Edirne detention camp is even under threat. They should be evacuated from it as soon as possible and granted humanitarian/asylum visas so they can legally enter the EU and start their asylum procedure there.

The Ahmadi detainees are living in inhumane conditions: 10-15 adults and children held together in spaces of less than 35 square meters, one single bathroom available for all of them, insufficient water and soap supplies, and no hygiene pads for menstruating women.

No suitable activity for children is available.

In the last few years, members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light have been supported by Amnesty International, Human Rights without Frontiers, Freedom House, CAP/ Liberté de Conscience, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Border Violence Monitoring Network and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

On 4 July 2023, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or beliefSpecial Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Working Group on arbitrary detentionSpecial Rapporteur on minority issues co-signed an appeal addressed to the Turkish authorities asking them NOT TO DEPORT the Ahmadi asylum-seekers.

What they want is to reach the European Union and to apply for asylum in various of its Member States where they have some family or where they can rely on the assistance of institutions run by local communities of the Ahmadi Religion.

Since they are currently in de-facto detention, asylum/humanitarian visas through EU consulates in Turkey are the only way available to them now to safeguard their right to freedom of religion and their right to life and freedom from inhumane or degrading treatment. 

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