1st July, 2021
Weeks before Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest in Nairobi Kenya, the authorities there had also carried out the abduction of a Turkish man Selahaddin Gulen.
And just like Kanu was handed over to Nigerian authorities, Kenya also sent Gulen to Turkey.
Human Rights Watch Africa is now battling Kenya for abducting and deporting Gülen to Turkey at the end of May.
Gulen is the nephew of Fetullah Gulen, Turkey’s most wanted man, now living on asylum in the United States.
The older Gulen is a Turkish Islamic scholar and leader of the Gülen movement: an international, faith-based civil society organization once aligned with Turkey’s government.
The movement had since be outlawed as an alleged “armed terrorist group.
The 84 year-old Gulen has been living on exile since 1999.
He was accused of masterminding the aborted coup in Turkey on 15 July 2016. The coup triggered an unprecedented crackdown on alleged members of the movement.
In a statement on Thursday, East Africa director Otsieno Namwaya said the deportation of Selahaddin Gülen , violated Kenya’s obligations to uphold the principle of non refoulement under international and regional refugee law.
Gülen was reported missing under unclear circumstances on May 3, 2021 after he reported at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations head office in Nairobi under an October 2020 court order.
Another Turkish national who had accompanied Gülen to the agency headquarters and disappeared along with him, was released by Kenyan authorities on May 5.
“Kenyan authorities have a responsibility for what happens within their borders, and should investigate the possibility of complicity of its officials in this flagrant disregard for due process,” Namwaya said, in a report by The Star.
“This is even more urgent given the negative history of alleged complicity of Kenyan authorities in previous incidents of abduction and deportation of asylum seekers.”
On June 14, Human Rights Watch wrote to the Kenyan cabinet secretaries for foreign affairs, Rachel Omamo, and for interior and coordination of national government, Fred Matiang’i, seeking comment about the alleged abduction and deportation of Gülen and the role Kenyan state agents played in the incident.
The authorities have yet to respond.
Under international refugee and human rights law, the principle of nonrefoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.
This principle always applies to all migrants, irrespective of migration status.