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GEORGIA:
TEACHER AT RISK IF EXTRADITED TO TURKEY

Update info:
1 Jun 2017
Country:
GEORGIA
Subject:
Mustafa Çabuk
Gender m/f: m
Period:
7 Jul 2017
Distribution date:
1 Jun 2017
UA No:
121/2017

Mustafa Çabuk, a Turkish secondary school teacher living in Georgia, is at imminent risk of extradition to Turkey, where he is at risk of torture and other grave human rights violations. Turkey has accused Mustafa Çabuk of “supporting terrorism”, referring to his alleged links with the Gülen movement.

Mustafa Çabuk, a Turkish national who has been working and living in Georgia since 2002, was arrested by Georgian police on 24 May. He is currently employed as a manager and a teacher at the private Demirel College in Tbilisi, the Capital of Georgia. The arrest was based on an extradition request from Turkey, who wants to try Mustafa Çabuk under terrorism-related criminal charges. Mustafa Çabuk denies any support to terrorism. He could be extradited any minute and in Turkey he could be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment, unfair trial or other serious human right violations.

Mustafa Çabuk is alleged to have assisted one of the shareholders of the private Demirel College to sell his shares to the Metropolitan Education and Consulting Services LCC, an educational institution in the United States which Turkey believes, has links with the Gülen movement. The Gülen movement (which has an international network of businesses and schools) was founded by Fethullah Gülen who the Turkish authorities accuse of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt and refer to his organization as the ‘Fethullahist Terrorist Organization’ (FETO). Fethullah Gülen, who is currently living in the United States, denies the accusations.

The Tbilisi City Court placed Mustafa Çabuk under a three-month extradition arrest on 25 May. Mustafa Çabuk’s lawyer has appealed this decision. Notwithstanding the appeal, the Minister of Justice of Georgia can authorise Mustafa Çabuk’s extradition at any minute.

Since 2016, the Turkish government is reported to have pressured its allies to take legal action against suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen. There is credible evidence of arbitrary detention and torture of detainees suspected of belonging to the Gülen movement, which Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have documented. Under international human rights law, as well as its domestic legislation, Georgia is obliged not to return a person to a country where they might be at risk of torture, other ill-treatment or other serious human rights violations.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In 2016, an attempted coup prompted a massive government crackdown on civil servants and civil society in Turkey. Those accused of links to the Gülen movement have been the main target. The authorities blame the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen for the attempted coup.

Following the coup attempt the Turkish government announced a three-month state of emergency, since extended twice, derogating from a long list of articles in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. The government passed a series of executive decrees that failed to uphold even these reduced standards. Over 100,000 civil servants including teachers, police and military officials, doctors, judges and prosecutors were dismissed from their positions on the grounds of links to a terrorist organization or threat to national security. At least 47,000 people were remanded in pre-trial detention accused of links to the coup or the Gülen movement, classified by the authorities as the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ). There is credible evidence of torture of detainees which Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have documented.

Name: Mustafa Çabuk
Gender m/f: m

UA: 121/17 Index: EUR 56/6372/2017 Issue Date: 26 May 2017

Take action

Please write immediately in English, Georgian or your own language:

  • Urging the Georgian authorities to comply with their obligations under international human rights law not to deport, extradite or otherwise return Mustafa Çabuk to a country where he would be at risk of torture, other ill-treatment or other serious human rights violations.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 JULY 2017 TO:
Prime Minister
Giorgi Kvirikashvili
7 Ingorokva St, Tbilisi, 0114, Georgia
Phone: +995 32 299 0900
Online form: gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=378
Twitter: @KvirikashviliGi
FB: KvirikashviliOfficial
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Minister of Justice
Tea Tsulukiani
24a Gorgasali St
Tbilisi, Georgia
Phone: + 995 32 240 5505
Email: info@justice.gov.ge
Twitter: @Justice_geo
Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.