The Spanish government on Friday decided not to extradite Hamza Yalçın, a Turkish-Swedish reporter and writer who was taken into custody in Barcelona over an Interpol red notice requested by Turkey last month for alleged terrorism links.
According to an AP report, government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said the process against Yalçın had been dropped because under Spanish law a person who has been granted refugee status cannot be extradited. He said Yalçın was granted asylum twice by Sweden and then acquired Swedish nationality in 2006.
“I was really happy” when I heard it, the 59-year-old Yalçın was quoted as saying by Sweden’s TT news agency. “It feels incredibly good.”
“I welcome the Spanish decision not to extradite Hamza Yalçın to Turkey,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement on Friday, adding that Yalçın, who fled to Sweden in 1984, was now free and could return to his family.
Yalçın was arrested Aug. 3 in Barcelona but was conditionally released by the National Court.
On Aug. 24, Spain also released German-Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı, who was detained in Spain on a Turkish warrant for alleged involvement with an outlawed group.