Amnesty International launches urgent action for 3 Turkish nationals arrested in Malaysia

Amnesty International (AI) has launched an “Urgent Action” for three Turkish men arrested in Malaysia and at the risk of torture. AI has published a statement in its official website and appealed people to send letters to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Attorney General of Malaysia.

Stating that three Turkish nationals have been arrested and detained in Malaysia under anti-terrorism legislation, AI said that “there are concerns about their safety if they are extradited to Turkey.”

School principal Turgay Karaman academic İsmet Özcelik and businessman İhsan Aslan were arrested and detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA). They are being investigated under Section 130J of the Penal Code (read together with SOSMA) for allegedly soliciting, giving support to terrorist groups or for the commission of terrorist acts.

AI has stated that “concerns were raised for Turgay Karaman on May 2 after he failed to attend a meeting. According to his lawyer, a CCTV footage emerged online of Turgay Karaman being surrounded by unidentified men in plainclothes in a car park in Kuala Lumpur, and being driven away in an unmarked vehicle. The same night, another one of his friends, İhsan Arslan, was reported missing by his wife.

“On May 4, according to their lawyer, İsmet Özcelik was in his car with friends, when they were stopped by five cars and swarmed by 20 people who seized their phones and abducted İsmet Özcelik in their car. The Home Minister later stated that they were being investigated for connections to the armed group calling themselves the Islamic State.

“The three men have not been given access to lawyers or their families, and are therefore detained incommunicado, in violation of international human rights law. There are also concerns that they could be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment, unfair trial or other serious human right violations, should they be returned to Turkey, following the opaque conditions of their apprehension. The men are currently being held in the police headquarters at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur.

“In 2016, the Turkish government is reported to have pressured its allies to take legal action against suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen, whom Turkish authorities accuse of masterminding a coup attempt against them. Fethullah Gülen denies the accusations.”

AI has continued “There is credible evidence of arbitrary detention and torture of detainees suspected of belonging to the Gülen movement, which Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have documented. If the three men are suspected to be linked to the Gülen movement, Amnesty International fears the two men will be at risk of being extradited to Turkey where they would risk similar ill-treatment.”

The AI has called all people to write immediately in English or their own language to urge the Malaysian authorities to comply with their obligations under international human rights law not to deport, extradite or otherwise return Turgay Karaman, İsmet Özçelik and İhsan Arslan or any other person to Turkey where they would be at risk of torture, other ill-treatment or other serious human rights violations; to express concern about the arbitrary manner in which they were reportedly detained; and to urge them to grant both men immediate access to their lawyers, family visits and an independent court and reminding them that in all proceedings related to offences the most rigorous internationally recognized standards for fair trial must be respected.”

AI has also warned human rights volunteers to send their appeals before June 16, 2017. The addresses given by AI are as follow: Prime Minister Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Main Block, Perdana Putra Building, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia Fax: +603 8888 3444;

Home Minister YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Hamidi, Kementerian Dalam Negeri Malaysia, Blok D1, D2 & D9 Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62546 Putrajaya Malaysia Fax: +603 8889 1613 Email: ahmadzahid@moha.gov.my ;

The Attorney General of Malaysia Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali Attorney General’s Office, No. 45 Persiaran Perdana Precinct 4, 62100 Putrajaya, Wilayah Putrajaya, Malaysia Fax: +603 8890 5670 Email: pro@agc.gov.my

AI also calls people to send copies of their letters to diplomatic representatives accredited to their own countries.

May 8, 2017

 

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