19:46, Wednesday, 23.05.2018
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„Free Chabuk!”


ნეტგაზეთის ფოტო
Civil society appeals the Government of Georgia not to extradite Mustafa Emre Chabuk to Turkey

Lana Giorgidze

Mustafa Emre Chabuk, who was arrested upon the request of Turkey under the charge of membership of the terrorist organization, is still in the Prison # 8 of Georgia. Regardless the protest statements of the international and local nongovernmental organizations, there is risk that the manager of the Demirel College Mustafa Emre Chabuk may be transferred to Turkey.  

On May 24, the Tbilisi City Court sentenced pre-extradition three-month imprisonment to the detainee. The Judge satisfied the solicitation of the prosecutor’s office. As the prosecutor said at the trial, Chabuk is accused of the membership of the armed terrorist organization that is grave crime. In accordance to the accusation, Mustafa Emre Chabuk, allegedly assisted one of the terrorist organizations and the name of the organization is “Supporters of Fethullah Gülen.” Namely, the case materials state that Mustafa Emre Chabuk allegedly assisted one of the partners of the Demirel Collage in selling his share in the collage to the American company in 2017. 

International organization Amnesty International echoed the detention of Mustafa Emre Chabuk and called on Georgia not to extradite him to Turkey. The organization believes in Turkey will be at risk of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or other grave human rights violations. Amnesty International also addressed the interested parties to send petitions to Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani of Georgia so that Georgia implemented its international obligations and not to extradite the detainee to Turkey, where he may be under the threat. The statement also mentions that since 2016 the Government of Turkey is reported to have pressured its allies to take legal action against suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen.

With the request to free Mustafa Emre Chabuk, on June 7, the protest demonstration “Free Chabuk” was organized in front of the State Chancellery in Tbilisi. The main request of the protesters was not to extradite Chabuk to Turkey as he may become victim of torture and inhuman treatment in the prison of Turkey like it happened with the people protesting the activities of the Turkish government.  

“Today, we joined this protest demonstration and call on the government to correct its criminal mistake and free Mustafa Emre Chabuk from prison. It is absurd to blame him in terrorism; it is politically motivated charge, which is related with the ongoing political developments in Turkey after the so-called military coup. If he is extradited to Turkey, he will become victim of torture and inhuman treatment,” executive director of Human Rights Center Aleko Tskitishvili told humanrights.ge. 

Like international organizations, local NGOs also state that Mustafa Emre Chabuk shall not be handed to the Turkish side. The NGOs elaborated joint statement and called on the Parliament of Georgia to ensure implementation of an effective parliamentary control over unlawful extraditions of citizens of Turkey and possible oppression of Turkish schools and colleges connected to the Fethullah Gülen movement and undertake relevant measures in this regard.

“We believe that under such conditions, Mustafa Emre Chabuk‘s extradition to Turkey represents gross violation of human rights and fundamental standards of supremacy of the law and will undermine the process of democratic development of the country,” the address of the NGOs reads.

The officials of the Government of Georgia deny the accusation against them claiming that they purposefully persecute the Turkish citizens working in the Georgian education system based on the political order of the Turkish authority. 

The State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Viktor Dolidze said people shall not associate politics with criminal activities, because politically motivated detentions of the citizens of any state have finished in our country and this practice was left in the past.

Minister of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia Sozar Subari reacted on the detention fact of Chabuk and said that the Ministry is processing the application of Mustafa Emre Chabuk for the refugee status.

As Subari told news agency Interpresnews, the Ministry will study the documents and made decision based on that. 

“We received [his] application. As soon as the asylum seeker applies to us, we automatically start processing of his/her documents. It is purely legal process, which has nothing to do with the politics. As for the suspension of extradition, the extradition imprisonment does not mean extradition. The prosecutor’s office will request documents and only upon studying those documents a person may be extradited. We also carry out similar procedures. We study the documents and based on the evaluation of those documents, we make lawful and not political decision,” Subari said. 

He added that the defense side of Mustafa Emre Chabuk shall submit materials to the Ministry to prove that international convention was violated with regard to Chabuk.  

“When a person is not arrested, the discussion of the application may last up to 24 months. But when a person is in prison, of course, the terms will be limited. At this moment we do not have even evidence; they should submit the evidence to prove that his persecution contradicts the international convention and that he is not prosecuted based on legal grounds but in blatant violation of the international laws,” Subari told media sources.

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili calls on the relevant agencies to take into account the risk of ill-treatment of the detainee in Turkey, in accordance with international standards, and to act in line with the standards established by the European Court of Human Rights while making a decision on the extradition of Mustafa Emre Chabuk, in order to prevent the violation of Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. 

The monitors of the Public Defender’s Office visited the detainee on the very first day of detention. “We visited the detainee on the day of his arrest. We met his lawyers and received some documents from them. It is important that decision on the extradition was not made until all details are cleared up. We monitor the ongoing proceedings in this case,” Ucha Nanuashvili said. 

Lawyer of Human Rights Center Nestan Londaridze visited the detainee in the prison, who also joined the case as a lawyer and agreed the joint defense strategy with the private lawyers of Mustafa Emre Chabuk.

As the lawyer stated, according to the criminal case materials of Mustafa Emre Chabuk, he is wanted on the grounds of allegedly committing the offence, stipulated by the article 314/2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Turkey, which means, that he is charged with membership in a terrorist organization.  According to the information provided by the representatives of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Emre Chabuk is connected to the organization, FETÖ/PDY”, founded by Fethullah Gülen Movement.  Since the events of July 15 of 2016, FETÖ/PDY” is considered as a terrorist organization and according to the allegation of Turkish authorities, Mustafa Emre Chabuk was trying to transfer part of the Demirel College as requested by the leadership, in favor of the company, which is registered in the USA. 

Nestan Londaridze said there are many questions in the case of Mustafa Emre Chabuk. Among them is why Demireli Collage or the US registered company can be considered terrorist organization and why the representation authority of Mustafa Emre Chabuk can be evaluated as membership of the terrorist organization.

“Human Rights Center believes the questions shall be answered promptly and comprehensively so that society did not have feeling of insecurity and unfairness,” Londaridze said and added that there are many facts and evidence that if Mustafa Emre Chabuk is extradited to Turkey, he will become victim of torture and inhuman treatment. Thus, it is inadmissible to extradite him to Turkey.

According to the Ministry of Justice of Turkey, since the attempted military coup, criminal cases were launched against 103 850 suspects. 41 326 of them are still in prison. 2 286 detainees were judges and prosecutors of the civil and administrative courts, 104 of them were judges and prosecutors of the cassation court, 41 – of the supreme court, 2 – of the constitutional court and 3 detainees were members of the supreme council of judges and prosecutors. 6 325 military officers were arrested; 168 of them are generals; 7 624 of them were police officers, 17 city mayors, 74 vice-mayors, 100 municipality governors. Court supervision was applied with regard to 35 496 detainees. 10 265 persons were freed after litigation and court hearings. 

The statements of international organizations prove that many facts of torture and inhuman treatment were observed in Turkey.

UN Office of the Human Rights High Commissionaire, in its written statement, warned the Government of Turkey about the resolutions and measures taken after the emergency situation in the country. The statement reads that on July 20, after the emergency situation was announced in Turkey, facts of inhuman treatment and torture of the detainees were observed. At the same time, the administrative acts and abuse of power undermine the fundamental human rights. The Commissionaire called on the Government of Georgia to act in due respect of the international laws.

“Mustafa Emre Chabuk is innocent and must be freed immediately,” the online petition was sent to the President of Georgia, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia and Minister of Justice. 

“Mustafa Emre Chabuk is volunteer, who, for 15 years, has worked on different positions in the education field in Georgia. He has implemented many social-cultural programs and activities to improve Georgian-Turkish relations. The Government of Turkey oppresses the Government of Georgia to arrest and extradite Mustafa Emre Chabuk to Turkey. Government of Georgia, as a result of oppression, blames him in terrorism. Up to 50 000 educated people were arrested in Turkey. Mustafa Emre is innocent and must be freed immediately,” the petition reads. 
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