Hello all, my name is Alaa and I'm here to raise funds on behalf of my friend Basma whose life is in danger.
THE STORY OF BASMA Basma (who can't reveal her photos for her safety) is a 24 year old woman from Yemen who is passionate about working with human rights organizations, and is a defender and advocate for marginalized minorities and women.
Being a black woman, Basma faced a lot of racism and marginalization in Yemen. She is always discriminated against because of the color of her skin.
Basma is also an ex-Muslim. Like many ex-Muslims, her story is not uncommon and can be claimed as one sector of the non-religious population subjected to horrendous abuse and disownment by family and community, simply for exercising their fundamental human rights to freedom of belief and freedom of religion.
Despite her fear of prosecution and abuse, Basma was very outspoken about the situation of women in Yemen and was calling for a secular state. Because of this she was called an “infidel” by her professors at her university and by her own father who threatened to turn her to authorities.
As an ex-muslim and a black woman, life was getting too dangerous and hopeless for Basma in Yemen; a country where leaving islam is punishable by death. In addition to hearing daily insults because of her skin color, there was a growing inevitable risk that her father or someone else will harm her or report her to authorities and Islamic groups.
At this point, Basma couldn’t live in this constant fear and decided to make the hardest decision she’s ever had to make. Escape.
BASMA’S SITUATION IN TURKEY
As Basma struggled to find a way out of Yemen, so she can be safe and live her life freely like any other women her age, she came across an opportunity to go to Turkey illegally. As a result, she was detained and jailed for 4 months at a deportation center. At the detention center, Basma declared a hunger strike that continued for 7 days. Her hunger strike proved to be useless after the manager of the deportation center told her that he does not care if she dies of hunger. He threatened her that if she does not go back to Yemen voluntarily, she would be removed by force.
With a help of a friend in Istanbul, Basma managed to get a lawyer pro-bono. The lawyer helped her get out of the detention center and she was told that she had 15 days to go to any immigration office and apply for residency.
Unfortunately for Basma, she has been rejected so many times for residency in Turkey. Many attempts were made to deport her but she resisted. She was even told that she “is not welcome here” by one of the immigration officers. After a lot of struggle, she managed to get a valid ID that allows her to stay in Turkey for 2 more months until they make a final decision to deport her or not.
Basma is unable to provide for herself or find any job. She was able to borrow money and find a place to stay in a rural area where rent is cheaper. However, The landlady who Basma was renting from is now selling the place and kicking Basma out. Basma is now in debt, without any income or resources to help her find a job. Every agency that she contacted has either shut her down or completely ignored her pleas.
In addition to being in life-threatening danger in Yemen. Basma is also in a lot of danger in Turkey where a lot of Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood members currently reside. She found herself having to hide her thoughts and beliefs from everyone around her. The woman who was once an active human rights defender with a bright future, is now hopeless and helpless barely making ends meet.
HOW YOU CAN HELP BASMA
We started this campaign to help Basma with basic needs for her to find shelter and food, but also to help her find refuge somewhere else other than Turkey before she gets deported or arrested. Your donations will be life-changing for Basma whose dream is just to get to safety and be able to have her basic rights and freedom. Donations will be withdrawn by Alaa. Part of the donations will be transferred to Basma in Turkey, and the rest will be used to try to get her to Canada.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
You can help Basma by getting her story out there. Share this fundraising page with family and friends. You can also use the hashtag #SaveBasma on twitter to show your support.