Aqil: Turkey’s failure to join the Convention for the Protection of Persons from “Enforced Disappearance” does not exempt it from responsibility, and we hold the Turkish authorities responsible if anything happens to him.
Sherif Abdel Hamid: Turkey ignored the response to dozens of UN reports confirming the spread of the phenomenon of enforced disappearance
The Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights today submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations special procedures regarding the disappearance of the Palestinian journalist Ahmed Mahmoud Ayesh Al-Astal, who has been living in Turkey for 7 years, as he was kidnapped on September 21, 2020, from a street in Istanbul, while he was searching for a new home. This is according to Hossam Al-Astal, the brother of the kidnapped journalist, who confirmed that his brother's house was broken into by unknown persons while he and his family were absent from the house two weeks before the kidnapping, as the personal computer and some papers and files related to his work were stolen.
The Maat Foundation said that Ahmed Al-Astal, a Palestinian journalist, had been working in the UAE for ten years, then seven years ago he left the UAE to work in Turkey, where he worked at Anadolu Agency and a number of Turkish press institutions as a press editor and writer of opinion articles.
The Al-Astal family held the Turkish authorities responsible for protecting their son, demanding that his whereabouts and the reason for his disappearance be revealed. Especially in light of the recurrence of this pattern of disappearances in Turkey, and the reluctance and failure of the authorities to investigate these incidents.
Ayman Aqil, head of Maat Foundation, stated that Turkey's failure to join the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance will not exempt it from responsibility and accountability for these crimes, especially since the phenomenon of enforced disappearance in Turkey is not accidental or individual, but rather systematic practices against anyone who violates or criticizes Turkish government policies.
Aqil added that Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the state of Turkey, provides for the protection of individuals and that they may not be arbitrarily arrested or arrested, and any person who is arrested must be informed of the reasons for this arrest when it occurs, and he must be informed quickly of any charge against him. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals who are not citizens of the country in which they live also stipulates that foreigners enjoy, according to domestic law, the right to life and personal security, and no foreigner shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, as well as the right to Protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, housing or correspondence.
Aqeel invited the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances to visit Turkey. To examine the facts of the forcibly disappeared and arbitrarily detained, and to make the results of the investigations public, and to move swiftly in order to reassure the families of the disappeared and detained about their families. He held the Turkish authorities fully responsible if anything bad happened to him.
For his part, Sherif Abdel Hamid, Director of the Research and Studies Unit at the Maat Foundation, said that while the Turkish human rights file was subject to review before the United Nations Human Rights Council, for the third time, within the framework of the universal periodic review process, which took place during January 2020, the Turkish government ignored the response to dozens of UN reports. And human rights that confirm the spread of the phenomenon of enforced disappearance.
Abdul Hamid added that the cases of enforced disappearance in Turkey exceeded 940 cases, and stressed that this repeated pattern of harassment practiced by the Turkish authorities against opponents and human rights activists did not remain exclusive to Turkish citizens only, but went beyond that and came to include foreign citizens residing on Turkish territory .
Maat Foundation has called on the Turkish authorities to expedite the disclosure of Al-Astal's whereabouts and to evacuate his fate immediately, and to guarantee his full rights. The Foundation also called on the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, as well as the Working Group on Cases of Arbitrary Detention, to request a visit to Turkey. In order to review the facts of the enforced disappeared and arbitrarily detained, and to make the results of the investigations public, and the need to move quickly in order to reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared and detained and to compensate them, based on the declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in this regard in its resolution 47/133 of December 18, 1992 as a set of applicable principles To all states.