Lahore High Court orders protection for Turkish teachers in Lahore


Date posted: October 21, 2017

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday sought records from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding the arrival of a special Turkish plane late on October 13 to take a Turkish teacher back to his home country. The court had stayed the deportation of Mesut Kacmaz of Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges, who was among dozens of Turkish school staffers that had been granted temporary refugee status.

The court also sought detailed replies from the foreign and interior ministries on a contempt petition filed against the reported deportation of teacher and his family. The court further ordered the Lahore police chief to provide protection for all refugee Turkish teachers in the city.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza passed the orders on petitions filed against deportation of Turkish teachers affiliated with Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges — Murat Ervan, and Kacmaz and his three family members.

Earlier, petitioner’s counsel Asma Jahangir told the court that opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were being targeted in Turkey due to political instability there and that his opponents were also being victimised in Pakistan.

The senior lawyer pointed out that all the Turkish nationals in Pakistan enjoyed protection under international agreements, but the families were being deported from Pakistan in violation of court orders, which amounted to contempt of court.

It had been reported that the kidnapped teacher, Mesut Kacmaz, along with his three family members, had been deported to Turkey on October 14 despite the court’s stay over, she told the court, adding that a special Turkish plane had come to take them back.

When Deputy Attorney General Imran Aziz said that the available record showed the family had not been deported, the court sought records from the CAA regarding the arrival of a Turkish plane on October 13-14 to take the Turkish teacher back.

Jehangir also provided a list of Turkish teachers of Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges and requested the court to stay their deportation, fearing they could also be deported. She requested the court to restrain the authorities from harassing them.

The court stayed the possible deportation of the other Turkish teachers and restrained the authorities from harassing them. The court ordered the Lahore city police chief to appoint police at residences of Turkish teachers residing in the Wapda Town area of Lahore.

The petition had originally been filed against the possible deportation of Turkish teacher Kacmaz and his family.

It is alleged that Kacmaz and his three family members were picked up by law-enforcement from their residence in the Wapda Town on September 27 and they would possibly be deported.

 Kings’ friendship?

Talking to the media after the hearing, Jehangir said that the victim family was abducted and taken to Islamabad, where the Turkish police took them away with them. “Eyewitnesses have told us that the victims were crying while Turkish police were dragging them,” she said.

“They tortured them as well,” the lawyer claimed. “Is this a country or a jungle, where anyone can be deported after being abducted because our kings are friends with their kings,” she added.

Showing the passports of the victims, Jehangir asked how they could have left the country with the documents and when their named are already on the ECL.

“We have filed a contempt petition. We will get to the bottom of the issue that who ordered their deportation in violation of court orders after their abduction,” she said. “who is behind their deportation, we need to know and we will not stop until we know that.”

Source: The Express Tribune , October 18, 2017


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