The organizations, signing below the present statement, are concerned regarding the process of extradition of Mustafa Emre Chabuk to Turkey, initiated by the Government of Georgia, and are calling upon the Government of Georgia to refrain itself from handing over Mustafa Chabuk to the Government of Turkey, where he will be possibly subjected to political persecution, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and will have no access to fair trial.
Detention of Mustafa Chabuk in Tbilisi on the basis of requirement of the Government of Turkey coincided with the official visit of the Government of Turkey to Georgia. Prior to that, the Government of Georgia was actively checking several educational institutions, founded in Georgia (including Shaheen and Demirel Colleges and the Black Sea University), which the Turkish authorities consider as organizations associated with Fethullah Gulen Movement, after which as it is presumed the Shaheen College was unlawfully closed down. Detention of Mustafa Chabuk in given context has clearly pronounced political connotation and is indicative of political loyalty of Georgian authorities towards the Government of Turkey.
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 ,,Metropolitan Education and Consultation Services“, registered in the USA. The documentation submitted by the Government of Turkey to the Georgian authorities mainly describes activities of Fethullah Gülen in Turkey, and does not contain a single specific indication of the reason, as to why Demirel College or a company registered in the USA is a terrorist organization, and why authority of Mustafa Emre Chabuk to act as a fiduciary, can be viewed as membership in a terrorist organization.
Articles 19 and 20 of the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters prohibit extradition if the committed offence is considered as a political offence, or military offence related to politics. According to the Article 28 of the same law as a circumstance, deterring extradition is considered the fact, when the offence, with regard to which extradition is requested, is fully or partially committed on the territory of Georgia. According to the Article 29, paragraph 1 of the same law, extradition cannot be enforced when there is a reasonable suspicion that extradition of a person is required for the purpose of his prosecution or punishment on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic origin, religious or political views or some similar grounds. According to the paragraph 3 of the same article, extradition is prohibited, if in the state, requiring extradition of a person, such person will be subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
On the background of mass violation of human rights, committed by the state towards the members of Fethullah Gülen movement such as acts of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, punishment, homicide, and the fair trial guarantees were completely ignored, persons were deprived of freedom unlawfully and their property and assets were confiscated, it is clear that Mustafa Emre Chabuk can become the victim of political persecution, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in case he is extradited to Turkey. It is noteworthy that the fact of torture of members of Fethullah Gülen is confirmed and denounced by the European Commission, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT), the UN Special Rapporteur against Torture, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner. It must be noted that European countries refrain themselves from extradition of persons who are charged with similar offences.
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 undersigned organizations express solidarity to Mustafa Emre Chabuk who has been engaged in pedagogical and educational activities in Georgia for many years, and his family members and his fellows and within the framework of our mandate will direct our efforts to support protection of their rights in Georgia.
Taking into consideration the abovementioned we, organizations that are signing below, are calling upon:
the Government of Georgia to:
- Refuse from extradition of Mustafa Emre Chabuk to Turkey due to the real risk of political prosecution, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in Turkey;
- The Government of Georgia should apply to all necessary measures to ensure safe and legitimate stay of Mustafa Emre Chabuk, his family members and his fellows on the territory of Georgia who may face similar problems, and offer political asylum to them;
the Parliament of Georgia:
- 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 movemebt and undertake relevant measures in this regard.
The organizations, which undersigned document, will send the full legal assessment document of this case to the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia to take into account while deciding issues of extradition and political asylum.
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
Transparency International Georgia (TI)
The Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)
Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)
Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI)
Human Rights House Tbilisi (HRHT)
International Society of Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Media Development Fund (MDF)
UN Association of Georgia (UNAG)