Lithuania didn’t provide Turkey with ByLock user data

Pro Government demonstration in Turkey
Reuters / Scanpix

“We received answers and made sure that Lithuanian institutions have not received such calls for legal assistance and never provided any information to anybody,” Sabatauskas told journalists after the committee’s closed meeting on Wednesday.

Reports appeared in the Turkish media in January that Ankara had secured cooperation with Lithuania and received data about ByLock app users who were suspected with links with Muslim spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen who Turkey accuse of organizing the 2016 attempted coup. Ankara maintains the app had been developed specifically for mobilization of coup supporters, and having it on a mobile was a sufficient reason for arrests.

Asked whether the data could have been transferred privately without involving Lithuanian institutions, Sabatauskas emphasized that “Lithuanian institutions did not do anything like that in this situation.” Asked again whether the user data could have been provided by those storing it, the head of the committee replied: “No, this could not have been a criminal deed.”

The parliament’s panel was approached by the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HMRI) for a check of validity of reports in the Turkish media about Lithuania’s cooperation on ByLock user data.

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