Cellmate: Teacher abducted by Turkey’s MİT from Malaysia subjected to torture in Ankara

Alaettin Duman, a teacher in Malaysia who in 2016 was abducted by agents of the notorious Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) from Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur over alleged links to the Gülen movement, has been subjected to beating, torture, death threats and staged executions during his pretrial detention in Ankara, according to his cellmate.

His cellmate, identified only by the initials S.T., who has recently been released from jail, told exiled journalist Fatih Akalan during a video interview on Saturday that Duman was threatened with death and subjected to staged executions on several occasions.

S.T. also called on foreign governments to avoid extraditing alleged followers of the Gülen movement to Turkey where they face similar treatment.

Duman (47), one of founders of the Time International School, and Tamer Tıbık (43), the general secretary of the Malaysian-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry — Turkish nationals and believed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement — were kidnapped on Malaysian soil in late 2016.

Duman and Tıbık were taken to a remote wooded area, subjected to torture and abuse and later turned over to Turkish officials to be taken back to Turkey. Both are currently locked up in Ankara’s Sincan Prison on trumped-up charges of terror.

The UN and other intergovernmental organizations as well as credible NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International have all reported widespread torture and abuse cases in Turkish prisons and detention centers. There have been other cases of attempted kidnapping in Malaysia as well according to reports received by SCF.

Early on Thursday, Kosovo police illegally detained five teachers who used to work at schools affiliated with the Gülen movement and an allegedly movement-affiliated doctor and handed them over to the Turkey’s MİT agents.

So far , a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia, Pakistan, Sudan and Myanmar have handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the United Nations.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in late March 2018 exposed the details of torture cases in Turkey last year and called on the Turkish government to enforce its proclaimed policy of zero tolerance for torture.

A 28-page report issued by the OHCHR quoted the wife of a man suspected of being part of the Gülen movement: “They took me to the police station, terrorism unit … They called the prosecutor and told him on the phone, ‘We have got the wife of a terrorist.’ … Then the police officer started threatening to take off my clothes and that they would show me to the detained male soldiers. He put his hands under my T-shirt and started to take it off. … I was numb, silent.”

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. On December 13, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.” (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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