Wife of ‘Gülen school manager’ detained in Tbilisi asks for protection

3 July 2017
Tuba Çabuk (On.ge)

The family of Mustafa Emre Çabuk, a manager at the Private Demirel College who was detained in Tbilisi on Turkey’s request, is asking for protection from Georgia’s State Security Service, after receiving several threats on social media.

Çabuk’s wife, Tuba Çabuk, claims to have been receiving threats on her social media profiles from accounts with Turkish names, and is asking for protection. Çabuk’s lawyer, Soso Baratashvili said on 3 July that he will appeal to the Prosecutor’s Office and ask them to allocate guards to Çabuk’s family.

Baratashvili has submitted additional documents to the Ministry of Refugees, urging the Georgian authorities to accept Mustafa Emre Çabuk’s application for asylum.

Baratashvili told Georgian media outlet Netgazeti that the documents he submitted include ‘requests from international human rights organisations’ to grant his request.

Amnesty International said in a brief report released on 26 May that the manager is at ‘imminent risk of extradition to Turkey, where he is at risk of torture and other grave human rights violations’.

Baratashvili said that the additional documents include statements and assessments from Georgia’s Public Defender, and also a ‘description of torture of people who are accused of cooperating with Fethullah Gülen’.

Çabuk was detained in Tbilisi on 24 May, accused by Turkey of ‘supporting a terrorist organisation’. Tbilisi City Court ordered Çabuk’s provisional detention for three months, and he remains in custody.

Later in June, Georgia temporarily halted extradition procedures against Çabuk, while the Ministry of Refugees started considering his application for asylum. If Çabuk’s asylum request is denied, the extradition process will continue, however, if he is granted refugee status, he will be released from custody. While the ministry is discussing Çabuk’s refugee status he cannot be extradited.

The head of the Asylum Department of the Ministry of Refugees, Irakli Lomidze, said that they would announce their decision on 7 July.

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