The UN acknowledges the arrest of 18 Guelen followers arbitrary

The news outlet ANT reports that the arrest and detention of 18 individuals for their alleged links with the movement of Turkish religious preacher Fethullah Gulen were acknowledged arbitrary by the UN.

All these individuals were officially charged and convicted for incitement of social, national, ethnic, racial or religious hostility and organization of or participation in a criminal organization or other forms of criminal organization. The closed court trial was held in presence of only four defense lawyers. The total imprisonment term amounted to 333 years.

The document says that confinement conditions of convicts did not comply with some articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Since the official Turkmen authorities did not provide any due explanations at the UN request, members of the Working group concluded that the arrest of the aforementioned individuals violated their right to freedom to association.

The UN experts concluded that the court order for the case did not provide any clear evidence of criminal activities or wrongdoing. The court verdict reportedly contained their biographies of each of 18 convicts and their prison sentences.

The Working Group considers that the appropriate remedy would be to release the 18 individuals immediately and accord each one of them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations in accordance with international law.

Let us recall that in late February 2016 over 30 individuals were sentencedto lengthy imprisonment terms in Turkmenistan for alleged links with Fethullah Gulen. Throughout several months graduates and teachers of former Turkmen-Turkish lyceums as well as those who did a course of study in Turkish universities had been arrested in the country, Radio Azatlyk reported.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan