Jan 09 2019

Ex-Muslim Yemeni girl faces deportation from Turkey

A prominent Egyptian-American journalist and many others on Tuesday used a Twitter hashtag to urge lawyers to take the case of a Yemeni girl seeking asylum in Turkey and in danger of deportation to her homeland.

The 24-year old Yemeni woman, who is an ex-Muslim and goes by Basma, as well as Amy, came to Turkey as an irregular migrant due to fear of persecution in her country. 

She is from a persecuted minority in Yemen, openly referred to as servants or slaves, according to a July 2018 report by The Good Men Project. She withstood daily insults based on the colour of her skin and feared punishment from her family and community if they were to learn that she had left the Muslim faith. 

Basma reportedly wants to leave Turkey for France. Turkish authorities have reportedly tried to deport her several times and she stayed four months in a deportation centre, according to a blog post in July last year. 

She also applied to UN authorities in Turkey to seek help, but could not afford to leave Istanbul to move to another city in Turkey as rules for UNHCR protection in the country requires.

“My future is unknown. I live fear everyday if anything happens I want everyone to remember that I was here,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. 

Many foreign Twitter accounts are calling for help for the Yemeni girl under the hashtags #SaveBasmah and #SaveBasma.