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Gülen’s nephew sentenced to 7.5 years by Turkish court

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Selman Gülen, nephew of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison by a Turkish court on Tuesday on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Kutbettin Gülen, a brother of the cleric, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, was jailed for 10 years, six months on the same charge in October.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen-inspired movement of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Turkish police on Tuesday detained 36 people as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the movement.

The prosecutor accused Selman Gülen of using ByLock, a smartphone application that Turkish authorities regard as a communication tool among the Gülen movement.

The younger Gülen said in his defense that using ByLock should not be crime.

In October, the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that detention, arrest and conviction based on ByLock use in Turkey violated of Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The working group examined an application submitted by Mestan Yayman, a former vice governor of Antalya province who was dismissed by a government decree on Aug. 29, 2016 due to Gülen links.

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