15 January 2014 – THE MUSLIM LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (MLA), SOUTH AFRICA strongly condemns the recent illegal search and seizure raid that was conducted at the IHH’s Kilis Office without presentation of a search warrant.
The IHH is an internationally renowned and effective humanitarian aid relief organisation founded in Turkey.
The IHH’s Kilis Office jointly shares a space with Qatar Red Crescent. The IHH Kilis Office (Kilis is a city in south-central Turkey near the border with Syria) co-ordinates the IHH’s relief efforts presently conducted in Syria. The actions of the Turkish Police Anti Terror Team from the Van District (Van is a city in Eastern Turkey) to investigate at least one individual had led to the seizure of all of IHH’s computers rather than to focus on the specific individuals personal property in order to investigate supposed alleged links to Al Qaeda.
IHH Secretary General Yaşar Kurtluay stated, “the unlawful search was performed in IHH’s Office, and the spaces belong to Qatar Red Crescent, by keeping all staff out of the buildings not to let them witness the acts of the police.” He further added, “the computers belong to IHH and Qatar Charity were seized illegally. The procedural actions were not implemented despite the objection of our lawyers”.
The lawyer of IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Uğur Yıldırım had confirmed that IHH lawyers filed a criminal complaint to Kilis Prosecution Office regarding the actions of the anti terror police and the manner in which they had conducted the operation.
Various legal actions have also been taken in Ankara. According to the latest information, an investigation has been launched in Kilis by the Turkish Ministry of Justice about the Turkish anti terrorism police who had conducted this operation. Two public prosecutors have been charged with this investigation.
THE MLA renders its unequivocal support to the IHH regarding this incident and similarly like CAGE an independent advocacy group that works to empower communities affected by the war on terror and to highlight the abuse of prisoners rights, condemns the use of unsubstantiated allegations by the Turkish anti terrorism police of a link to Al Qaeda to discredit particularly the humanitarian relief aid work of the IHH in Syria.
Issued by the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA), South Africa
Attorney Ziyaad Patel – Cell no. + 27 83 309 5238
MLA websıte: www.mlajhb.com
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