Non-Governmental Organizations: Decision on Mustafa Chabuk's Case is Illegal, Unjustified and Politically Motivated

We, the undersigned organizations respond to the refusal of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia (hereinafter the Ministry) on granting refugee status to Mustafa Emre Chabuk and believe that the decision is obviously unjustified, arbitrary and unreasonable expression of the political loyalty of the government towards the non-democratic regime in Turkey. The Ministry justifies the decision of July 7, 2017 with the arguments of legitimacy of prosecution against the members of Fethullah Gülen movement, and with the diplomatic guarantees of Turkey about the release of some of the detainees after the military coup, protection of human rights in Turkish prisons and access to the right to fair trial, as well as about the protection of Mustafa Emre Chabuk's rights in Turkey.

The decision of the Ministry on the Chabuk's case is obviously unsubstantiated and is not supported by the results of the appropriate examination of the individual case, objective evidence and realistic assessment of the existing legal and political context in the country of origin. In addition, the most critical reports of the international organizations regarding the hard political situation in Turkey are not mentioned in the text.

The main argument used in the decision of the Ministry is based on the controversial claim that the organization of Fethullah Gülen is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey and that the criminal prosecution against the actions of the members of this organization is legitimate. In the affirmation of this, the Ministry fully ignores the assessments of international organizations about the massive violation of fundamental human rights in the process of criminal persecution of persons related to the Fethullah Gülen movement, which substantially changes the legal nature of this process and reviews it in the political context.

Torture practice in Turkey has been denounced and condemned by the European Commission, Committee against Torture (CAT), and UN Rapporteur on torture, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe. Among them, the latest resolution of the European Parliament of July 6, 2017, indicates to torture and inhuman treatment in Turkish penitentiary establishments; to the problems regarding their investigation and local and international monitoring, as well as the lack of guarantees for fair trial. The Venice Commission criticizes (2016) the Articles of the Turkish Criminal Code used in the case of Mustafa Chabuk and indicates that it does not meet the requirements of foreseeability and contains high risk of arbitrary persecution. It is noteworthy that in spite of the fact that Turkey requested from European countries for the arrest and extradition of 59 FETO members after the July 15 coup attempt, none of the members have been yet extradited by European countries.

Taking into consideration the circumstances, it is obvious that the Ministry's assessments about the existence of guarantees of right to fair trial in Turkey and non-existence of ill-treatment in the penitentiary institutions are absurd and unreasonable. Moreover, despite the fact that the charge was filed against Chabuk for alleged crime committed on the territory of Georgia, which is the case of Georgian jurisdiction and gives the state a legal basis for refusal to extradition, the Ministry does not even discuss the reasonableness of the charge.

The information indicated in the decision of the Ministry as if Georgia has received diplomatic guarantees on the protection of the rights of Mustafa Chabuk, raises serious doubts that the Government of Georgia plans to extradite him to Turkey in the future, which will be the ultimate breach and complete neglect of fundamental human rights. 

Considering the above mentioned the signatories:

  • Condemn the apparently unjustified and unlawful decision taken by the Ministry; call on the Ministry to conform its activities to human rights standards and do not allow to politicize the processes of such cases and to withdraw it from the legal framework;
  • Call on common courts, to discuss the case with the proper use and protection of human rights standards after appealing the court decision and effectively ensure the execution of constitutional functions of controlling activities of executive power;
  • Call on the Ministry of Justice and the Government of Georgia not to allow the extradition of Mustafa Chabuk in Turkey, because this decision will substantially violate the fundamental human rights and will raise doubts about the quality of democracy in the country;
  • Call on the Parliament of Georgia to understand political and social contexts of Mustafa Chabuk's case and provide effective parliamentary control over the case.

Detailed critical analysis of the decision of the Ministry

The signatories are:

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)

Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI)

Transparency International Georgia (TI)

Media Development Foundation (MDF)

Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA)

Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)

UN Association in Georgia

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)

Article 42 of the Constitution

Open Society Georgia Foundation 




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