Action in Bern for Ecevit Piroğlu
A protest was held in Bern for Ecevit Piroğlu. Activists said: “We want him to be released by removing the extradition threat.”
An action was held in Bern to demand the release of Ecevit Piroğlu, who had been detained by the Serbian state for nearly 2 years, upon an extradition request by the Turkish state.
The action was held in Bahnhofplatz and was organized by the European Democratic Power Union-ADGB. A banner with the words "Release Ecevit Piroğlu!" and photos of Piroğlu were carried by activists.
Speaking at the action, politician Nejdet Atalay said that Serbia wanted to extradite Ecevit Piroğlu, responding positively to Turkey's demand, in defiance of international law. Atalay said that the extradition was prevented many times thanks to international solidarity and added: “The danger of Piroğlu's extradition to Turkey has not been overcome yet. Serbia's extradition threat still persists and should be lifted."
Atalay said that Piroğlu struggled from Gezi to Rojava.
Speaking on behalf of ADGB, Tuncay Yılmaz said that Ecevit Piroğlu was subjected to a conspiracy, like Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, and added: "Ecevit Piroğlu has waged a revolutionary struggle for the peoples of Turkey and for the Kurdish people. We know Ecevit Piroğlu from the Gezi resistance and his struggle for the Rojava Revolution. Many of us have worked with him. We know very well what might happen to our comrade Ecevit in the event of his extradition to Turkey. We want the extradition threat to be lifted and Ecevit to be released. We call on the international community to act."
Ecevit Piroğlu has been politically active since 1992 and worked, among other things, for the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Turkey. Over the years, he has been imprisoned several times for his political work. In 2021, he applied for political asylum in Serbia after being accused of terrorism in connection with the Gezi uprising of 2013. Before leaving for Serbia, Piroğlu fought against ISIS in northern Syria. When he landed in Belgrade, he was arrested and went on hunger strike last June. In October, the Court of Appeal in Belgrade overturned a lower court's decision to extradite Ecevit Piroğlu to Turkey. The activist remains in custody, facing at least thirty years in prison in Turkey.