Iran’s foreign ministry says nine Iranian Kurdish asylum seekers extradited by the Turkish government to the Free Syrian Army, a group opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s government this summer, will be returned to Iran.
Saeed Khatibzadeh called the asylum seekers “missing Iranian nationals” on Saturday, January 1, and said that they would enter the country through the Razi border on Saturday “within the framework of cooperation between the Iranian and Turkish governments.” It was previously reported that the Syrian group wants to use these people to exchange prisoners with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
According to reports, nine asylum seekers from the cities of Paveh and Sardasht, named Bahman Shadruvan, Masoud Heidari, Saeed Ahmadi, Damavand Paksrasht, Afshar Rostami, Hedayat Rokhzadi, Arman Rashidi, Mobin Valdebeigi and Fardin Darvishpour, were trying to cross the border on 30 August this year. Arrested in one of the forests around Istanbul by Turkish police.
Fearing to be returned to Iran, they identified themselves as “Syrians” and were handed over to the Free Syrian Army, an armed group opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s government, a few days later.
The asylum seekers, along with 57 migrants from the Iraqi Kurdistan region, were planning to smuggle from Istanbul to Italy when they were arrested.
Four months after the refugees were handed over to the Free Syrian Army, VOA reported on December 19 that the group wanted to use them to exchange prisoners with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
According to reports, the families of the nine Iranian Kurdish asylum seekers have been on strike in front of the Turkish embassy in Tehran since December 14th, demanding that the Turkish government pursue the fate of their children.
The family of one of the refugees said that the Turkish-backed forces in Syria had told them that if the Turkish government wanted, we would return the refugees to Turkey immediately, but Turkey objected.
In recent years, following the increase in economic, social and political pressures, the tendency to emigrate among Iranian citizens has increased significantly.
Some of these migrants, who travel to European countries illegally and through the borders of Turkey, face many problems and dangers, which sometimes lead to their death.