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On the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance

On the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance

Maat: Turkey Evades All International Obligations Concerning Enforced Disappearance

Okeil: Erdogan Uses Repressive Tools Against Opponents to Stay in Power

Today, August 30 of each year, marks the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance. Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. The UN General Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction,

The report of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances expressed its concern about allegations of the practice of extrajudicial abduction in Turkey. Since the 2016 coup attempt, the Turkish regime has increased its repressive practices against opposition parties and groups with arrests and abuses that escalated under the emergency law imposed after the failed coup. It made it worse by the application of the anti-terrorism law, under which many human rights were violated.

In 2018, there were 940 enforced disappearances and approximately 3,248 people were killed and buried in 253 mass graves, the authorities refused to hand over their bodies to their families, illustrating Turkey’s repressive methods and brutal killings in order to threaten opponents. Thus, fair trials are not guaranteed and opponents are abducted and tortured for long days, then appearing on terrorism charges.

Ayman Okeil, President of Maat, said that Turkey has not only practiced enforced disappearance on its territories, but also outside. In cooperation with the Malaysian authorities, two Turkish men living in Malaysia were abducted, arbitrarily detained and denied their right to a fair trial after being extradited to Turkey and held there. The two men were arrested by the Malaysian authorities and handed over to Turkey to be held in an unknown location and then transferred to Denizli prison in June 2017.

Okeil added that Turkey refuses to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to not provide protection for politicians, opponents, human rights activists and civil society organizations from enforced disappearances in Turkey and to ensure using repressive tools to stay in power.

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