CAT/C/66/D/827/2017

1.1
The complainant is Ferhat Erdoğan, a Turkish citizen born on 22 November 1978.
He is facing extradition to Turkey and considers that his return would constitute a violation
by Morocco of article 3 of the Convention. Morocco ratified the Convention on 21 June
1993 and made a declaration recognizing the competence of the Committee under article 22
of the Convention on 19 October 2006. The complainant is represented by counsel.
1.2
On 20 June 2017, in application of rule 114 (1) of its rules of procedure, the
Committee, acting through its Rapporteur on new complaints and interim measures,
requested the State party to refrain from extraditing the complainant to Turkey while it
considered his complaint. On 28 February 2018, the Committee decided to consider the
admissibility at the same time as the merits of the communication.
The facts as presented by the complainant
2.1
The complainant, a businessman, is the president of a Turkish businessmen’s
organization in Uşak, Turkey, and is also a member of the Turkish Justice and
Development Party. He is a member of the USIAD association, which is a branch of
TUSKON, the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists, an association
disbanded by the Turkish authorities under the state of emergency. The complainant
organized promotion and marketing visits both inside and outside Turkey for educational
institutions affiliated with the Hizmet movement. He also raised funds for social and
charitable works for students and disadvantaged persons as part of the Hizmet movement’s
activities.1 On an unspecified date in 2010, he moved with his wife and two children to
Morocco, where he decided to invest.
2.2
On 13 October 2015 the Uşak Court of Major Jurisdiction initiated an investigation
of the complainant. On 5 August 2016 the Court decided to indict him for forming and
leading an armed terrorist organization, money-laundering of funds collected as a result of
terrorist acts and financing of terrorism.
2.3
On 30 January 2017 the Turkish authorities filed a request for the complainant’s
extradition with the Moroccan authorities. On 12 April 2017 the complainant was arrested
in Casablanca. On 13 April 2017 he was brought before the Casablanca court of first
instance, which ordered that he be incarcerated pending extradition and that he be sent to
the Salé prison pending extradition proceedings before the criminal division of the Court of
Cassation.
2.4
On 23 May 2017 the complainant submitted an application for international
protection with the local representative office of the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees in Rabat.2 He is still awaiting a response.
2.5 At a hearing at the Court of Cassation of Morocco on 24 May 2017, the complainant,
with the assistance of his lawyers, denied the allegations in the Turkish case file, which
were unfounded and based only on detailed “sworn” testimony, without objective criminal
evidence. The complainant argued that the bulk of the evidence contained in the extradition
file consisted only of personal notes found in a datebook, a video containing photographs of
the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his son, Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan, and
an electronic Word file of a letter from the complainant to his business colleagues and
friends, in which he described promising economic sectors in Morocco and invited them to
go there to invest in the country.
2.6
The complainant also argued that the extradition request was of a political nature,
based on the fact that he was a human rights activist who had adopted political opinions at
variance with those of the authorities in Turkey and on the Turkish Government’s political
characterization of the Hizmet movement as a terrorist group. He also invoked the danger to
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The complainant points out that his wife was an active member of the Aktif Eğitim-Sen movement, a
teachers’ union affiliated with the Hizmet movement, whose members have nearly all been arrested.
She was dismissed by a decision of the Turkish Government because of her activities in the Hizmet
movement, where she served as president of the Kardelen Eğitimciler Derneği movement. The
complainant’s wife and children are currently in Germany, where they have the status of asylum
seekers.
His wife submitted an application for international protection on 5 April 2017.
GE.19-10059

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