Turkey orders detention of 102 people over ByLock use

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The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 102 people on accusations of using ByLock, a smartphone application that Turkish authorities believe was used among followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of orchestrating a 2016 coup.

According to a state-run Anadolu news agency report, at least 45 of the suspects were detained.

On Monday Adana police detained 41 former police officers who were dismissed by government decrees during a now-ended state of emergency.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies any involvement in the 2016 failed coup, the Turkish government started a massive crackdown on the group, detaining over half a million people for their alleged ties to the movement.

In December Turkey’s interior minister announced that there were more than 90,000 ByLock users in the country.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated in October 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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