American Christians Andrew and Norine Brunson facing deportation in Turkey, Accused of posing a "national security risk".
- The Christian couple is being held in Turkey without access to U.S. consular officials or lawyers.
- A lawyer asking to visit them was denied access and told to obtain an affidavit as his legal authorization, upon return was told the couple "did not want a lawyer."
- TRUNEWS told by officials at World Evangelical Alliance that the focus right now is to get the couple through the deportation process safely.
- For 20 years the couple has headed a well known ministry in the city of Izmir.
(VERO BEACH, FL) American Christians Andrew and Norine Brunson were arrested by Turkish officials in Izmir and held without access to legal representation or U.S. consular officials. They were detained in the city of Izmir where they run a well known ministry for the past 20 years. The couple is accused of engaging in activity said to constitute a “national security risk”. Godfrey Yogarajah is the Executive Director of the World Evangelical Alliance's Religious Liberty Commission and communicated via email his reaction to the case. He has been friends with the couple for over a decade.
"Deportation has been the reward of some of the very best servants of the Lord in Turkey, but it is not a common practice, at least up until now. The main circumstantial differences now is the emergency rule status of the justice system which has given authorities impunity in the name of national security."
Turkish officials have denied communication with the couple since the arrest. A lawyer acting on behalf of the Brunson's filed a petition to the Izmir governor on October 12th, protesting that the incommunicado stipulation against the American Christians was illegal under Turkish detention laws. A member of the Turkish Parliament has also made an inquiry on the handling of their detention. The Brunson's are currently leading the Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant congregation averaging 30 to 40 worshippers, located in the city’s Alsancak district. Efforts by some members of the congregation to deliver at least a change of clothes for them, have also been met with rejection at the Migration Administration’s detention facility in Izmir. The couple is scheduled to be deported back to the U.S. and Godfrey says he is looking forward to their safe arrival. He assures that they are also looking into the case in order to establish if the couple's arrest is the first in a trend.
Original article by World Watch Monitor.