The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has faulted Turkey over the pre-trial detention of a Turkish citizen on account of his alleged use of the ByLock messaging application, a mobile app that the government claims to be the top communication tool among Gulen followers.
In the press release issued by the Registrar of the Court on Tuesday, it was said that Turkey has violated the Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights; as well as the Article 5 § 3 (entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial), and Article 5 § 4 (right to a speedy decision on the lawfulness of detention).
“In the absence of other evidence or information, the document in question, stating merely that the applicant was a user of ByLock, could not, in itself, indicate that there were reasonable suspicions that could satisfy an objective observer that he indeed used ByLock in a manner that could amount to the alleged offences,” the court said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen group 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 group as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the group following a coup attempt on JUly 15, 2016. The group denies any involvement in the coup attempt.