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Saturday, 11 June 2011

In Vienna protests against removal of trans Turkish asylum seeker

Rally for Yasar 8 June was attended by members of the many Austrian groups who are supporting her

UPDATE, 15 June: TransX report that Yasar was released from prison today pending a reconsideration of her asylum application.

8 June a protest was held outside the Hernals prison where Turkish trans asylum seeker Yasar Öztürk is being held pending removal after being denied asylum.

She came from Turkey and asked for asylum in Austria in September 2009. She was abused by police and beaten by "transphobic rowdys" in Turkey. In a knife attack, she was seriously injured by a lung puncture. The police refused to accept her complaint. The attack has left her blind in one eye.

Yasar is at risk of being murdered (“honour” killing) by her family. In Turkey, she had to go into hiding, says TransX, the Austrian transgender group who are supporting her,and if she is removed and her family finds her she will be murdered. Some of Yasar's close friends were assassinated in recent years, they say.

Her supporters have called another protest from Monday 13 June, at 6.30pm again outside the prison.

Update: 350 people attended this lively protest. Another protest was planned for today in Innsbruck.

Yasar sent a message to the 8 June protest:
"Thanks a lot to everybody who came. Not only for me, also for those who are confronted with violence, have been killed, such demonstrations should be done. No one should die. Let's love humans as humans, let's love animals as animals. Don't we treat people like animals. Greetings to all and many thanks."

"Hepsine tesekkür ederim.Sirf benim için degil, dünyada magdur olan, siddete magruz kalan insanlara, ölenlere sahip çikalim. Kimse ölmesin, insanlari insan olarak sevelim.Hayvanlari hayvan olarak sevelim. Insanlara hayvan muamelesi yapmayalim. Beni ve benim gibi insanlari destekleyen herkese kucak dolusu sevgiler."
Yesterday the Turkish LGBT group Pambe Hayat delivered a protest letter to the Austrian embassy in Ankara. And an appeal to the ECHR was denied. Her legal representative says that the Interior Ministry does have the power to stop the removal, which is scheduled for 15 June.

Seyhan, a Turkish trans refugee in Austria 
Edited to add: a fresh claim for asylum has been submitted and will be considered on Tuesday, 14 June. Austria has given asylum before to a Turkish transgender woman. Seyhan (pictured right) received asylum, according to TransX, "very quickly". She has been at the forefront of supporting Yasar and spoke at the protest.

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