ISTANBUL 

Lawyers of a Turkish businessman, who has been remanded in custody in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on trumped up charges for three years, have applied to a human rights institution in Turkey.

Mehmet Ali Ozturk’s lawyers Mete Gencer and Gulden Sonmez said in a written statement that they have provided information for the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (TIHEK) about detention of their client and his wife Emine Ozturk in Dubai and the incidents they were subjected to.

In an earlier statement, Emine Ozturk, who owns a Turkish pulses company with her husband Mehmet Ali Ozturk, said they were detained at the Gulfood Fair in Dubai in February 2018. She said their heads were covered with cloth bags, they were handcuffed, and taken to an unknown location by people in plainclothes.

She was deported to Turkey, while her husband was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The details of “torture and tyrannical acts” against the businessman during and after his interrogation in the UAE intelligence center were also mentioned in the application to the institution, said the lawyers.

They also noted that his son Abdullah Ozturk in the US was held simultaneously and interrogated by the FBI, and the statement for the Turkish rights institution included data on the US’ role and intelligence sharing in the businessman’s detention and interrogation.

“TIHEK’s support is requested in the process of seeking justice for Mehmet Ali Ozturk and his family, who are chosen as victims by the UAE as part of its hostile policies against Turkey, due to their exposure to violations such as torture, bad and tyrannical treatment, the risk and threats of death during torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, restriction of liberty, violation of the right to a fair trial,” said the statement.

They also requested TIHEK and its National Prevention Mechanism to work for Ozturk’s release, as well as to form a delegation to visit him in Al Wathba Prison in Abu Dhabi.

On Dec. 11, the businessman’s lawyers filed a criminal complaint with Istanbul prosecutors against concerned UAE officials to be forwarded to the Justice Ministry.

* Writing by Sena Guler

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