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Amnesty: Turkish Teacher Detained by Georgia ‘at Imminent Risk’ of Extradition

Mustafa Emre 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,” the Amnesty International, London-based international human right organization, said in its brief report on May 26.

Çabuk, who works as one of the managers of Private Demirel College in Tbilisi, was detained on May 24 at the request of Turkish authorities allegedly for having links to Fethullah Gülen-associated FETÖ – an organization designated as terrorist by Turkey. Çabuk, who denies the accusations, was sent to three-month pre-extradition detention by the Tbilisi City Court on May 25.

According to the report, 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 runs an international network of businesses and schools, was established by Fethullah Gülen, U.S.-based cleric, who the Turkish authorities accuse of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt. 

“Since 2016, the Turkish government is reported to have pressured its allies to take legal action against suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen,” the Amnesty International said.

Mustafa Emre Çabuk “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,” the organization also stated.

“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,” it added.

The Amnesty International called for an urgent action, asking to appeal to 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.”

The arrest of Mustafa Emre Çabuk came less than four months after the Georgian Ministry of Education closed down the Batumi Refaiddin Şahin Friendship School, operated by the Chaglar Educational Institutions, a Gülen-affiliated network in Georgia citing “significant problems with respect to student enrolment.” It also came a day after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s one-day official visit to Tbilisi.

This post is also available in: Georgian

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