LHC extends stay on deportation of Turkish teachers

LAHORE:07 October: Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza of the Lahore High Court (LHC) extended the stay order against possible deportation of former vice president of Pak-Turk Schools and his family for two more weeks, as the federal government said that law enforcement agencies had been asked to find out the whereabouts of the alleged abducted Turkish nationals. The petitions were moved for the recovery of Mesut Kacmaz, former vice president of Pak-Turk Schools, his wife and two minor daughters, and for restraining the government from deporting another Turkish teacher Murat Ervan and his family members. During the hearing of these petitions on Friday, a law officer on behalf of the Interior Ministry informed the court that letters had been written to all law enforcement agencies to know the whereabouts of the alleged missing/abducted Turkish family. He also sought time to file a detailed report regarding the alleged missing family. Justice Shams Mehmood allowed the request and deferred the hearing for two weeks. Orhan Uygun a colleague of Kacmaz, had filed a petition alleging that the school's former vice president, his wife and two daughters were abducted from their Wapda Town residence. Counsel for the petitioner Asma Jahangir said that the government through the attorney general had undertaken before the court last year that the Turkish employees of the Pak-Turk Schools would not be deported until November 24, 2017. She submitted that Kacmaz and his family members were abducted by unidentified persons from their house and there was a likelihood that they would soon be deported in violation of the court's order. She said that the petitioner had already filed an application with the police station concerned for the registration of an abduction case but the police were reluctant to take action. She requested the court to stop the Interior Ministry from deporting the Turkish family. In a separate petition, Murat Ervan through his lawyer Asad Manzoor Butt said that his colleagues had been allegedly abducted by law enforcement agencies and were likely to be extradited forcibly. He submitted that the petitioner and other Turkish educationists had sought asylum in Pakistan under the protection of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR). He said that the incumbent Turkish government resorted to persecution of employees associated with Pak-Turk Schools on political grounds. He pointed out that despite an undertaking by the attorney general of Pakistan regarding deportation of Turkish employees, the educationists were being abducted and subjected to forced deportation in violation of the undertaking before the court. He requested the court to restrain the government from possible extradition of the petitioner and his family members and also place their names on the Exit Control List.Published in Daily Times, October 7th 2017.

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