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Chabuk Was Refused to Get Refugee Status in Georgia and Threats to His Family

20.07.2017

 
Natia Gogolashvili

Unidentified people threat the family members of Mustafa Emre Chabuk, Demireli School Manager, with liquidation – his wife Tuba Chabuk made statement about it. The family requests state defense from the Government of Georgia. Several days before this fact, the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia refused Chabuk to grant the refugee status.

Manager of the Demireli Collage Mustafa Emre Chabuk, citizen of Turkey, was arrested on May 24, 2017. The Turkish side claimed Chabuk supported the terrorist organization FETO and had connections with Fethullah Gülen. 

Wife of Mustafa Emre Chabuk, Tuba Chabuk requests the Government of Georgia to ensure state defense for her. According to her statement, she and her family members are threatened with liquidation. “After my husband was arrested, various forms of intimidation were used against my family members. The threats intensified after they saw that Georgian media and society supported us. One of Turkish editions declared our family to be a traitor. Thus, now we are intimidated. They tell us we must be in the grave; that they will send a group of killers to Georgia who will kill my family members, etc. We do not know who send these messages; we cannot claim that it is done on behalf of the Turkish Government but the threat is real and we request state defense,” Tuba Chabuk said.

“We provided the authority with part of the evidence which prove that Mustafa Emre Chabuk and his family members are under risk. Consequently, we request state defense. We really hope and expect that the state will ensure safety of Tuba Chabuk and her underage children,” Tuba Chabuk’s lawyer Vakhtang Kvizhinadze said. 

Georgian nongovernmental organizations echoed the refusal of the Ministry of Refugees to grant the refugee status and stated that such practices raise concerns about the political loyalty of the Government of Georgia towards the non-democratic authority of Turkey. The statement, which was signed by 10 NGOs, reads that the main argument of the Ministry relies on the disputable allegation that Fethullah Gülen had terrorist organization in Turkey and criminal prosecution against the members of this organization is legitimate process in Turkey. 

“Claiming that, the Ministry absolutely neglects evaluations of international organizations about the mass and blanket violation of fundamental human rights of the people, who became targets of criminal prosecution because of alleged membership of Fethullah Gulen’s organization. This fact substantially undermines the legality of this process and gives political context to it,” the statement reads. 

Representatives of the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia clarified the decision with regard the refugee status of the Demireli Collage Manager at the special briefing on July 7. 

“We have substantially studied the information provided by the applicant and the information the Ministry collected about the country of origin, as well as extradition materials provided from the Turkish side. Having studied all documents and information, we made decision to refuse Mr. Emre Chabuk to grant refugee status in Georgia. In respect to the personal data and confidentiality of Mr. Emre Chabuk, the Ministry does not publicize the content and arguments of the respective decision. When making negative decision with regard to Mr. Emre Chabuk, the Ministry took current situation in Turkey into account, as well as the recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur and the standards of the European Court of Human Rights with regard to diplomatic guarantees. We also took into account that ombudsman’s institute and the national institutes of human rights and equality were created and are functioning in Turkey and they monitor the situation in the prisons. Considering that, the Ministry decided not to apply the international defense mechanism with regard to Mr. Emre Chabuk in due respect to the Georgian legislation,” the Ministry representatives stated. 

According to the Georgian NGOs, the evaluations of the Ministry as if there are guarantees to fair trial in Turkey and human rights situation has improved in the penitentiary establishments of Turkey, and as if ill-treatment facts do not happen there, are absurd and groundless.

“The verification of the Ministry does not mention extremely critical statements of the international organizations about the current grave human rights and political situation in Turkey: the European Commission, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the CoE Human Rights Commissionaire assessed and condemned the torture facts in Turkey. The most recent Resolution of the European Parliament, dated by July 6, 2017, reports about the facts of torture and inhuman treatment in penitentiary establishments in Turkey; the Resolution also speaks about lack of investigation, local and international monitoring mechanisms and lack of guarantees on the right to fair trial. Venice Commission critically evaluated (2016) the articles of the Criminal Code of Turkey, which were used against Mustafa Chabuk and stated that the Code does not meet the requirements of foreseeability and contains of high risk of biased persecution,” the NGOs’ statement reads.

Lawyer of Human Rights Center Nestan Londaridze monitors the case of Mustafa Emre Chabuk. She said the Ministry made ungrounded negative decision with regard to Chabuk’s application on refugee status. “The Ministry relies in its decision on the conclusion of the Counter-Intelligence Department of Georgia. The latter indicates whether the concrete person is acceptable for the State of Georgia or not. However, it never clarifies why she/he is unacceptable person for the state. Another problem is that when we appeal the decision at the Court, we do not have right to read the materials provided by the Counter Intelligence Department as the evidence. We usually reach the absurd situation. Often, the Department clarifies its decision as follows: even if they have least doubt about the person, they rely on it and make negative decision. It is incorrect practice,” Nestan Londaridze said.

In accordance to the Georgian legislation, Mustafa Emre Chabuk can appeal the decision of the Ministry at the City Court within 30 days. 

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