Human rights legal professionals have referred to as on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into alleged crimes they are saying had been dedicated by Turkish authorities towards 1000’s of opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Johan Vande Lanotte unveiled particulars Wednesday of a 4,000-page file despatched to the court docket’s prosecution workplace final month searching for a probe into allegations of crimes towards humanity. The prosecution workplace receives tons of of such submissions every year from world wide, and so they hardly ever result in an investigation.
The legal professionals alleged that greater than 200,000 individuals had been victims of a crackdown that started after a failed 2016 coup in Turkey. However, since Turkey just isn’t a member of the ICC, the court docket’s prosecutors shouldn’t have jurisdiction over instances involving victims who’re within the nation.
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However, the legal professionals stated, crimes with some 1,300 victims may very well be prosecuted by the Hague-based court docket — 17 instances of enforced disappearances, the closure of 73 faculties in 13 nations which can be members of the court docket, and what they referred to as the “discriminatory” withdrawal or refusal to increase passports and refusal to situation identification playing cards.
The crimes led to what Vande Lanotte referred to as “social demise” for the victims.
He stated the 1,300 victims recognized within the submitting to the court docket had been focused in dozens of nations which can be members of the court docket, which might give prosecutors jurisdiction primarily based on a 2019 ruling that allowed the court docket to open an investigation into the alleged deportation of members of Myanmar’s minority Rohingya who had been compelled to flee throughout the border into Bangladesh, which is an ICC member state, from Myanmar, which isn’t.
The allegations aired Wednesday comply with Turkey’s sweeping crackdown on alleged members of a community round U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the federal government held answerable for the failed navy coup in 2016.
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Tens of 1000’s of individuals had been detained, whereas others had been purged from authorities jobs, together with the police and navy. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated final yr that extra 19,000 persons are nonetheless in jail, convicted of hyperlinks to the Gulen community which Turkey has designated as a terrorist group.
Meanwhile, Turkey is searching for the extradition of greater than 1,100 suspects from 110 nations, based on the Justice Ministry. In 2021, Turkish brokers captured a nephew of Gulen in an abroad operation and introduced him to Turkey. Selahaddin Gulen, who was believed to be residing in Kenya, was wished in Turkey on fees of membership in a terror group.
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Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who now lives in exile in Pennsylvania, has rejected accusations of involvement within the coup try.
Turkish authorities didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark Wednesday.
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