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Dutch court cites torture risk in refusing to extradite suspect to Turkey

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Netherlands [official website, in Dutch] on Friday refused to extradite [press release, in Dutch] the leader of the Kurdistan Worker's Party [official website, FAS backgrounder] to Turkey, citing the possibility that she could be tortured after returning to the country. Nuriye Kesbir is accused of participating in 25 attacks in eastern Turkey between 1993 and 1995 as part of Kurdistan's battle for self-rule. Kesbir, who was originally arrested in the Netherlands in 2001, has denied the charges, claiming that she is only involved in political issues. After Kesbir's request for asylum was denied, the Dutch government approved her extradition to Turkey in September 2004. She appealed the decision and was released in 2005.

Groups such as Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] have come to Kesbir's aid, decrying in letter [text] to the Turkish government "Turkey's failure to adequately monitor those responsible for complying with legal safeguards against torture." In a report published last week, the Council of Europe [official website] said that "care must be taken that the improved legal framework for detention and questioning ... does not engender illegal practices" in Turkey [JURIST news archive]. AFP has more.

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