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HRW: Abduction of Orhan Inandi - egregious violation of international law

Turkish and Kyrgyz authorities abducted, forcibly disappeared, and extrajudicially transferred a dual Turkish-Kyrgyz national living in Bishkek to Turkey. The actions included egregious violations of international and domestic law. The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

Orhan Inandi, the director of Sapat network of prestigious schools in Kyrgyzstan, is the latest victim of a pattern of cases in which Turkey’s intelligence services have been involved in unlawfully transferring people to Turkey from countries around the world.

Those targeted are allegedly connected to the movement of US-based Sunni cleric Fethullah Gülen. The Turkish government deems the Gülen movement a terrorist organization responsible for the July 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey.

«Abducting, forcibly disappearing, and unlawfully transporting Orhan Inandi to Turkey from Kyrgyzstan demonstrates again Ankara’s ruthless disregard for the rule of law in general and most basic norms of international law,» said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. «That Inandi, a dual Turkish-Kyrgyz national, could be abducted and missing for weeks on Kyrgyz soil only to be illegally removed from the country by Turkey’s intelligence services, suggests the Kyrgyz government is either unwilling or unable to stand up to Ankara or directly colluded with them.»

On July 5, 2021, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on the air of the state TV channel TRT Haber that Orhan Inandi, one of the so-called top leaders of FETO, had been captured and taken to Turkey.

Orhan Inandi went missing on May 31, 2021. The wife of the president of Sapat international educational institution Reihan Inandi appealed to the president Sadyr Japarov three times with a request to help in search for her husband.

On July 6, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov said in an interview that the government will demand Inandi’s prompt return to Kyrgyzstan.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Affairs Ministry submitted a diplomatic note to the Turkish Ambassador, Ahmet Sadik Dogan, asking Turkey to return Inandi to Kyrgyzstan and to ensure that he is not ill-treated in detention, in accordance with the norms of international law.

As the human rights defenders note, over the past five years, scores of men alleged by the Turkish authorities to have links with 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 international law protecting basic rights including to liberty and security, a fair trial, and freedoms of opinion, expression, and association.

«The Turkish government should immediately disclose where Inandi is held in Turkey and secure his immediate release,» Hugh Williamson said. «So long as he remains in detention, he should receive a full and thorough medical examination from an independent medic in a hospital without the presence of security officials and be granted urgent access to a lawyer of his choice with a view to his prompt appearance before a judge. Kyrgyzstan should take steps to ensure the safety and protect the human rights of its citizen and hold accountable all those who bear responsibility for his abduction, enforced disappearance, and unlawful removal to Turkey.»