The Arrested Lawyers Initiative published a new report titled ‘Legal and Technical Issues Around Turkey’s Malicious Bylock Prosecutions‘ on criminalization of the usage of Bylock app that victimized more than 90,000 individuals.
“Bylock data is not lawful and admissible evidence but is a tool of malicious prosecution given to the Turkish Judiciary by the National Intelligence Agency. The only possible remedy for tens of thousands malicious prosecutions would be the quashing of all of the convictions which were even partly based on the Bylock App, and then giving all those who have been so convicted a fair trial where the above-mentioned ECtHR and the UN decisions will be taken into account.” is said in the report.
In the light of three international expert reports, and a recently surfaced an US Federal Court document, the report concludes that the Turkish government’s ‘exclusive usage claim’ is factually incorrect.
Eleonora Mongelli, Vice President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU): “Turkish authorities claim that ByLock is a communication tool exclusively used by members of the Gülen movement and that anybody who may have downloaded it is, in fact, a “terrorist.” However, the messaging app is actually being used as pretexts to arrest political opponents. So far, 92,769 individuals have been prosecuted for its alleged use.
This report shows that Bylock does not represent lawful and admissible evidence but is just a tool of malicious prosecution given to the Turkish Judiciary by the National Intelligence Agency, which is used without observing the defendants’ right to a fair trial. In fact, defendants and their lawyers were given no opportunity to examine the evidence, which may be manipulated by MIT.
The Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) is deeply concerned by the ongoing Turkish judiciary harassment. The criminalization of the use of Bylock is also one of the subjects of the third party intervention that we have submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (case of Saglam v. Turkey ) last October. We continue to call on the Turkish authorities to guarantee to all those who have been convicted a fair trial, which also takes into account the ECtHR and the UN decisions as mentioned in the report.”