Ukraine criticized by OSCE for extraditing Turkish coup suspect, blogger

Ukraine criticized by OSCE for extraditing Turkish coup suspect, blogger

Ukraine criticized by OSCE for extraditing Turkish coup suspect, blogger

The media watchdog of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) criticized Ukrainian authorities on July 19 for extraditing a blogger accused of having links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)–the group Ankara blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Ukrainian authorities confirmed that journalist and blogger Yusuf İnan, who Ankara believes acted as a social media expert for FETÖ, had been handed to the Turkish authorities after Kiev received a request to extradite him last October.

İnan, an editor of an online news outlet and former editor of the Yerel Gündem newspaper and its website, was detained by authorities in southern Ukraine earlier this month.

“Journalists should not be prosecuted for expressing their opinions and it is of concern that a critical journalist was extradited to Turkey,” said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir.

“I ask the Ukrainian authorities to clarify whether his freedom of expression and right to appeal were taken into consideration,” Desir said.

A spokesman for Ukrainian prosecutors insisted that “everything had been done in accordance with the national legislation,” Agence France-Presse reported on July 20.

“In July, the request was granted and he was handed over to the Turkish authorities,” spokesman Andriy Lysenko told AFP.

İnan, who is married to a Ukrainian woman and had a residence permit, was expelled from Ukraine as part of an operation by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) against a “terrorist group,” Anadoly agency reported.

Earlier this week local police spokeswoman Olena Berezhna told AFP that İnan was arrested in the southern city of Mykolaiv by the Ukrainian security service, who removed him to an undisclosed location.

He was the second Turkish national to be sent back to Turkey from Ukraine within days after MİT suspect Salih Zeki Yiğit was flown back to Turkey from Ukraine in a similar operation.

İnan remanded in custody in Turkey’s west, judiciary personnel prosecuted 

İnan was brought before a court in the western Aegean province of İzmir and remanded in custody on charges of being a member of an armed terror organization, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on July 19, citing sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Separately, six suspects arrested in Istanbul were remanded in custody on July 19 over a FETÖ plot related to calling MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and other MİT officials to bear testimony in 2012.

A court in the capital Ankara also sentenced 28 former military judges and prosecutors whose names were found in a “martial law courts assignment list” seized during the coup attempt.

The 28 suspects received prison sentences ranging from over six to nine years for being members of an armed terrorist group.