Ibrahim Parlak is a Kurd who was born and raised in southeastern Turkey. As a young man, he became active in the Kurdish human rights movement both in Turkey and Europe. He was arrested in Turkey in 1988 and held incommunicado and tortured repeatedly in three different Turkish police stations.
He was then tried and convicted of "separatist activities" by one of the notorious Turkish security courts. After serving a sixteen-month sentence, he was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 1992 on the ground that he had "established a well-founded fear of persecution" if he were to return to Turkey.
During his seventeen years in the U.S., Ibrahim has been a model member of his community in Michigan. He has established a very successful restaurant, has a twelve-year-old daughter, and contributes actively to charitable and civic activities. After 9/11, however, the Department of Homeland Security initiated proceedings to have Ibrahim deported back to Turkey, where he is very likely to face imprisonment and torture.
His many friends and admirers, including members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, have actively and generously supported him throughout this ordeal, but in a recent (and, in my view, ill-advised) two-to-one decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that it could not block Ibrahim's deportation.
I have known Ibrahim for several years and I am convinced to a moral certainty that his deportation would be a grave injustice. I therefore encourage you to consider signing a petition to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asking them to allow Ibrahim Parlak to remain in the United States.
Thanks so much for considering this. (I would also encourage you, if this persuades you, to bring this to the attention of others.)