Eight Turkish police suspended after deporting Egyptian fugitive to Cairo
The governorate of Istanbul announced on Tuesday it has suspended eight Turkish police officers involved in deporting Muhammed Abdelhafiz Hussein, an Egyptian national wanted by the Egyptian government, to Cairo.
The governorate said the decision to remove the officers from duty had been taken after a commission was set up to investigate the deportation of Hussein, who was sent to Cairo from Istanbul Atatürk Airport on January 18.
Turkish local news reports state Hussein had arrived in Istanbul as a transit stop on a flight from Somalian capital Mogadishu on Jan. 16, but lacked the proper documents and was denied entry to Turkey by passport control.
Qatari news network Al Jazeera reported Hussein, allegedly a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, had been sentenced in absentia to death by an Egyptian court in the investigation of the assassination of Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat.
Barakat was killed in a car bomb on June 29, 2015.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s support for deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has soured relations between Ankara and Cairo since Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, deposed his predecessor in a military coup in 2013.
Since then, Cairo has declared the Muslim Brotherhood movement which brought Mursi to power a terrorist organisation.
News of Hussein’s deportation caused concern among Egyptians living in Turkey, many of whom have been sentenced in absentia by Egyptian courts, though Turkish local news reports state Hussein did not apply for humanitarian protection while in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, a Turkey-based Muslim Brotherhood member posted a video on social media expressing his anger after Turkey handed Brotherhood members, accused of terror links.