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UN calls on Turkey to promptly establish missing educator’s whereabouts

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Angela Weiss / AFP

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on Turkey to promptly take all measures necessary to establish the whereabouts of a Turkish-Kyrgyz educator in Kyrgyzstan who is feared to have been abducted by Turkey, Turkish media reported on Friday.

The International Association for Human Rights Advocacy in Geneva (IAHRA GENEVA) on Friday announced on social media that the committee had within 24 hours answered their written request for interim measures regarding Orhan İnandı.

The founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat school network operating in Kyrgyzstan, İnandı went missing on May 31. The educator is feared to have been abducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey claims the founder of the school network is Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whose movement is labeled as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government and accused of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

The committee also said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government should ensure that İnandı would not be subjected to torture and inhuman treatment, guarantee his physical and mental integrity and immediately place him under the protection of the law.

The ruling AKP was also asked to officially inform the committee and İnandi’s family and legal representatives of his whereabouts and take all measures necessary to enable the educator to be in regular contact with his relatives and legal representatives.

The committee’s requests were in line with Rule 94 of its Rules of Procedure, which states that the committee may request, at any time after a request is submitted and before a determination on the merits has been reached, the relevant government to urgently take such interim measures as it considers necessary to avoid possible actions that could have irreparable consequences for the relevant parties.

“İnandi … is now protected by the interim measures adopted by the Human Rights Committee. The acceptance of our request for interim measures firstly shows that our application will, a priori, pass the ‘admissibility’ test by the Committee,” IAHRA GENEVA said on Twitter.

This decision, which demonstrates that what was done to İnandi was a serious violation of international law, is binding for Turkey, the rights group underlined, adding that Ankara’s failure to implement it would create legal responsibility for Turkey.

Meanwhile, the TR724 news website on Friday reported that the US State Department had been following the situation of İnandı with concern and will continue to closely follow the developments, citing a written statement by US State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The report comes only days before the first meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on June 14.

Over the past five years scores of men alleged by Turkish authorities to have links to the Gülen movement, living in countries around the world, have been arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Turkey. There they are incarcerated on bogus terrorism charges in violation of due process rights and protections.

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