US-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the arrest of Turkish nationals in Kosovo showed a callous disregard for human rights and rule of law.
“In addition to the questionable arrests, the men were sent to a country where they face a serious risk of torture. The Kosovo President, Prime Minister and speaker of parliament, who claim no knowledge of the operation, should demand a thorough investigation and explain how this travesty took place.”
HRW’s statement came on the heels of statements by Kosovar PM and President as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who all confirmed that 6 Gulenists were extradited to Turkey.
However, sources said Friday that the group is still in Kosovo, either being held at Pristina airport or at the Turkish Embassy in Kosovo.
Family members of the abductees flocked to both places, seeking news from their loves ones.
Early on Thursday, Kosovo police arrested 6 Gülenists who used to work at a group of schools affiliated with the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Turkey’s security sources earlier told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the suspects, named as Cihan Özkan, Kahraman Demirez, Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, Mustafa Erdem, Osman Karakaya and Yusuf Karabina, were brought to Turkey via a private aircraft by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Erdoğan accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 while the latter denies involvement.
More than 150,000 people have been detained and 60,000 were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey since the summer of 2016. Meanwhile, Erdogan called on foreign governments to punish Gulenists in their own countries.
So far, a number of countries like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia and Myanmar handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the United Nations.