Turkish-Armenian writer facing deportation after Greece arrest, says wife

Turkish-Armenian writer facing deportation after Greece arrest, says wife 1

A distinguished Turkish-Armenian writer living under a temporary permit in Greece after fleeing a Turkish prison has been arrested and faces deportation, his wife said yesterday.

Sevan Nisanyan, a 66-year-old linguist and blogger, was detained on the island of Samos on Thursday after Greek authorities refused to renew his residence permit, his wife Ira Tzourou said on Facebook and Twitter.

A Samos court tomorrow is to decide whether he will be deported to Turkey or Armenia, she said.

Nisanyan had been jailed in Turkey in 2014 on charges of illegal construction, a case he claims was punishment for his outspoken views about restrictions on freedom of expression in the country.

He escaped from a low-security prison in 2017 and pursued asylum in Greece.

Nisanyan had also previously been convicted in Turkey of blasphemy over a 2012 blog defending an anti-Islam film that ridiculed the Prophet Mohammed and sparked angry protests across the world.

Greek courts usually refuse to extradite to Turkey persons who say they face persecution for their views in the neighbouring country