On 9 March 2018, the Lebanese police arrested the Turkish citizen Ayten Öztürk at the international airport Rafiq Hariri (Beirut, Lebanon), when she was making her way to Greece.
On 13 March, the Minister for Home Affairs, Nohad Machnouk, secretly referred her to the Turkish equivalent of the CIA or MI5 (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT), bypassing the judicial process for extradition.
Mr Machnouk is a member of the Current of the Future (Hariri’s party).
Ayten Öztürk is a journalist who opposes the government. Her two brothers have already died prison in Turkey. She was living as an exile in Syria. Turkey had offered £600 00o.oo for her capture.
Ayten Öztürk has been tortured for a long time. She has been submitted to electroshocks, blows to the soles her feet, being suspended by her arms for long periods of time, simulated execution...). All this continually for six moths by a counter-guerrilla unit. It is unclear if she was conscious at the time and under the influence of hallucinatory drugs. She was later found on 28 August 2018 quite by chance in a cell of the department of Political Police at Ankara.
On 5 April 2018, the Turkish Vice Prime Minister, Bekir Bozdağ, declared on Habertürk TV that MIT had already managed to catch 80 citizens in 18 countries.