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EU working to locate educator feared to have been abducted in Bishkek

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An official from the European Union has announced that they are working closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to locate a Turkish-Kyrgyz educator who has been missing in Kyrgyzstan for a month and is allegedly being held against his will at the Turkish Embassy in Bishkek, local media reported.

Orhan İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat school network operating in Kyrgyzstan, went missing in Bishkek on the evening of May 31 and is feared to have been abducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.

Boris Iarochevitch, head of the Central Asia Division of the European External Action Service, recently answered questions from Brussels-based human rights associations, stating that the EU delegation in Kyrgyzstan had been closely monitoring developments regarding the situation of İnandı.

Iarochevitch added that Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov convened law enforcement officers for an emergency meeting and reiterated his order to prioritize locating İnandı, upon a request by the EU.

Underlining that they noted Japarov’s quick response and instructions, the EU official said they have also conveyed similar requests to other Kyrgyz authorities in Bishkek and Brussels.

Iarochevich indicated that it was regrettable not to have obtained a result from the investigation to find İnandı, adding that they would remind Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev of his international obligations regarding human rights and reiterate their request to locate İnandı at a meeting next week.

Meanwhile the missing educator’s wife Reyhan İnandı on Thursday called on Japarov to help find İnandı, reminding that her husband has been missing for a month, in a video she released on Twitter.

“Today it has been a month since Orhan went missing. So far, there is no information about his whereabouts, those who have him or his health. My four children and I can’t sleep and are waiting night and day,” she said.

She added that she was waiting hopefully for Japarov to make sure that an effective investigation is being carried out to locate her husband.

Over the past five years scores of men alleged by Turkish authorities to have links to the Gülen movement, living in countries around the world, have been arbitrarily detained and forcibly returned to Turkey. There they are incarcerated on bogus terrorism charges in violation of due process rights and protections.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding, an allegation both Gülen and his followers strongly deny.

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