THE HAGUE, Netherlands (DW) — As a judge in The Hague Aydin Sefa Akay should have had diplomatic immunity, but he was arrested for having a messaging app on his phone. As he languishes in prison an appeal for a man jailed for 30 years is in limbo.
The United Nations referred Turkey to the Security Council on Monday, March 6, for its continued incarceration of an international judge who was arrested after last year’s failed coup.
In January the UN Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) gave Turkey a February 14 deadline to release Akay and halt legal proceedings against him because he had diplomatic immunity.
“The government of Turkey has failed to comply with its obligations,” the court ruled on Monday. “This matter shall be reported to the UN Security Council,” presiding judge Theodor Meron wrote in his ruling.
Akay was arrested in a post-coup crackdown along with more than 40,000 people — including teachers, public officials and journalists – who were arrested, dismissed or sacked .
At the time of his arrest he had been scheduled to hear an appeal in the case against Augustin Ngirabatware, a Rwandan politician who was sentenced in 2012 to 35 years in prison for genocide, whose lawyers claimed to have found exonerating evidence.