Sweden: Death fast launched by Kurdish youth awaiting deportation in jail

Sweden: Death fast launched by Kurdish youth awaiting deportation in jail
A+ A-
Zinar Bozkurt, who was detained awaiting deportation in Sweden, has turned his six-day hunger strike to death fast.

A young Kurd whose asylum application had been rejected about a year ago and who was recently detained awaiting deportation launched a hunger strike on 20 August, and announced on Friday that he turned it into a "death fast."

Zinar Bozkurt said on Twitter:

"Hello my dear friends. I'm still in custody. Please help me raise my voice. Today was the sixth day that I launched a hunger strike. I have stopped drinking water, water with sugar and salt. I have gone on a death fast."

Journalist Ahmed Tirej Kaya of Duvar was able to reach Bozkurt who has been incarcerated in Sweden’s Kållered Detention Center. Bozkurt told Kaya:

"I would rather die here than in Turkey. I know that I will be subjected to severe torture if I am deported and handed over to Turkish authorities. This is the reason why I have turned my hunger strike to a death fast."

Bozkurt's lawyer Abdullah Deveci said that Bozkurt has not bee released although his deportation was suspended two days ago following a decision by Swedish authorities to review the case again, and that he was kept in custody because he was seen as a "security threat."

Deveci said:

"Most probably they will have a talk with him in a couple of weeks and they will decide what to do. His deportation has been suspended, but the final decision may be negative and the following process will likely be swift. We have applied to the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Committee against Torture. We want the authorities to make a lawful decision. There is NATO accessions talks going on in the background and soon elections will be held in Sweden. Unfortunately many things occur behind closed doors. Zinar's case is purely political. It has nothing to do with the laws."

While Ankara has been pressuring Stockholm to deport Kurdish political activists in exchange for dropping its objection to Sweden's accession to NATO, the asylum or permanent residence applications of many Kurds have been rejected in recent months by the Swedish Migration Agency, who also decided on deportation in several cases, entirely on the advice of the Swedish Security Service (SAPO), according to Swedish media Dagens ETC.