>Historical decision by the human rights committee

Press release – 29/05/2019

Historical decision by the human rights committee

In a historic decision, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (Human Rights Committee, hereafter abbreviated HRC) has ruled that Turkey has violated the human rights of two persons linked to Gülen and orders their release and compensation.

This was just decided by the HRC in an extensively reasoned decision.

The globally branched Gülen group, via its Belgian lawyers, filed a provision with the HRC on 12 May 2017 to sue the situation of two Turks who had been deprived of their liberty since 2 and 4 May 2017.

The two men were headmasters and academics, who lived in Malaysia for many years, and taught at an international school in Kuala Lumpur, inspired by the ideas of Fethullah Gülen. Both persons were kidnapped (of which visual material exists), were brought to Turkey by special Malaysian security services with the help of members of Turkish secret services.

Since then they have been in detention.

After a procedure of more than two years, and the exchange of memories by the lawyers of the detainees and Turkey, the HRC took a clear decision for the first time since the alleged attempted coup d’etat of 16 July 2016.

The HRC states that there was a random deprivation of liberty of both people.

It is found that the arrested were not sufficiently informed of the reasons for their arrest, that they were insufficiently informed about the content and the course of the investigation and that there was insufficient evidence for their arrest.

The HRC states that the alleged use of the Bylock application or the alleged deposit of funds at the Asya Bank, which was the only evidence put forward against Mr Karaman and Mr Ozcelık, was not sufficient for Turkey to show that the detention of the two men were necessary or reasonable.

The argument invoked by Turkey, namely that the declared state of emergency justified exceptional measures, is clearly not convincing the HRC. Neither does the argument that the parties involved have not exhausted all legal remedies in Turkey before filing a complaint with the HRC.

The HRC also states that Turkey does not prove that the constitutional court is an effective domestic remedy in cases of pre-trial detention.

The road to the European Court of Human Rights is once again open to people in detention linked to Gülen to see their fundamental rights guaranteed.

The HRC has decided that Turkey must release both persons and give them sufficient compensation to compensate for the established and multiple violations of their human rights of which they were victims.

The Turkish state is also obliged to take all necessary measures to avoid similar violations in the future.

Turkey will also be obliged to comply with the measures imposed by the HRC, and this within a period of 180 days, after which Turkey must also report to the HRC on whether they have actually implemented these measures.

Finally, Turkey needs to spread this decision in the Turkish language.

For the Gülen community, this statement has great precedent value because the Human Rights Committee of the highest worldly organization (United Nations) strongly condemns the arbitrary manner in which Turkey imprisons people and considers it to be contrary to international civil and political rights.

Moreover, the HRC does not consider the current legal remedies open to arrested Gülen supporters in Turkey to be sufficient for effective access to justice.

This decision must mean an improvement for the more than 77,000 illegal detainees who have been waiting for their trials for years.

Such a judgment did not yet come, not even before the European Court of Human Rights.



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