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European rights court fines Moldova for expelling Turkish teachers

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has imposed a fine on Moldova over the expulsion of teachers at the request of the Turkish government, Euronews Turkish service reported on Tuesday.

The ruling came upon the applications lodged by five of the seven Turkish teachers who were expelled from the country in a joint operation led by Turkish and Moldovan intelligence operatives in September 2018.

The court found several violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), specifically the provisions of Article 5 regarding the right to liberty and security and Article 8 regarding the right to respect for private and family life. The Moldovan government was ordered to pay €25,000 to each applicant.

The ECtHR underlined that the applicants were expelled in disregard of their asylum applications in Moldova in which they clearly stated their fear of imprisonment.

It also said the applicants were expelled by a joint intelligence operation using a special aircraft in what seemed like a premeditated plan that lacked legal grounds.

The teachers from the Orizont Schools were targeted in a criminal complaint filed by Turkey’s ambassador over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Their request for asylum was rejected by Moldovan authorities on the grounds that they constituted a “threat to national security.”

The teachers are currently behind bars in Turkey.

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