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Turkey businessman’s lawyers complain to UN after UAE tortures detainee



Lawyers of Turkish businessman Mehmet Ali Ozturk, who has been detained in the UAE for nearly three years, have filed an urgent complaint to the United Nations accusing the Emirati authorities of torturing their client.

On 20 February 2018, Ozturk was arrested in Dubai after arriving in the country with his wife, Amina Ozturk, to attend the Gulfood Manufacturing Fair.

In an earlier statement to Anadolu Agency, Amina said that a group of people wearing civilian clothes tied her and her husband’s hands before taking them to an unknown location. Her husband remained in custody while she was released and sent to Turkey. He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.

According to a statement, “lawyers of the Turkish businessman Mehmet Ali Ozturk submitted an urgent request to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”

The statement said that “Ozturk was severely tortured and his life was in danger. His son was used to pressure him for a defamatory confession against Turkey and its leadership.”

The statement added that “the UAE committed crimes of arbitrary and unjust detention and torture, in violation of United Nations conventions and the rules of international law, as Ozturk was questioned under torture upon his arrest.”

According to the statement, “Ozturk was dunked in cold water during interrogation, and iron rods were placed on his back. He was deprived of sleep for three days, beaten and splashed with cold water when he tried to sleep.”

READ: Turkey aid worker detained, tortured by UAE, forced to accuse Erdogan of crimes

“In an attempt to suffocate him, they put a towel on his head and poured water on top of his mouth. He was detained in a small cell for a long time and deprived of food, which made him lose 25 kilogrammes.”

“At the same time, his son Abdullah Ozturk, who is studying in the United States, was repeatedly taken from his house and questioned several times by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, while preventing him from travelling to Turkey for a while,” the statement added.

The UAE authorities have made no comment.

Last month, Ozturk’s lawyers applied to the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (HREIT) and the National Mechanism to Prevent and Combat Torture (MNCPT) to put pressure Abu Dhabi to release their client.

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Regeni case: Rome’s Public Prosecution requests initiation of Egypt officers’ trial



The Public Prosecutor in Rome on Wednesday officially requested legal action against four Egyptian National Security Agency officers accused of the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

Italian news agencies quoted the Public Prosecution office stating that the four officers, Major General Tariq Saber, Colonel Aser Kamel Muhammad Ibrahim, Colonel Husam Helmy and Major Ibrahim Abdel Al-Sharif, are accused of kidnapping, conspiring to commit murder and inflicting severe bodily harm.

Unidentified assailants kidnapped Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was 28-years-old at the time, in January 2016. A few days later, Regeni’s body was found mutilated and bearing signs of torture, in a suburb of Cairo.

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Regeni came to Egypt to research trade unions, which the local authorities regard as a politically sensitive subject.

The Italian investigators accused the Egyptian intelligence services of: “Torturing Regeni for days by burning parts of his body, and kicking and punching him, in addition to using a cold weapon and truncheons before killing him.” However, Cairo rejects these accusations.

The Italian authorities identified five suspects in 2018, who were working for the Egyptian General Intelligence Service.

The Italian Public Prosecution dismissed charges against one of the suspects, concluding that the victim died due to respiratory failure caused by blows inflicted on him.

If the pre-trial chamber judge agrees to initiate the trial, it will take place in absentia due to the Egyptian authorities’ refusal to extradite the suspects.

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On 31 December, the Italian government asserted that the Egyptian Public Prosecution’s decision to drop the charges against the suspected National Security agents is “unacceptable”.

The case has caused tension between Cairo and Rome, as Italy accuses the Egyptian authorities of refusing to cooperate, and even misleading Italian investigators.

However, Egypt bought two frigates from Italy worth €1.2 billion last June, in a sign of the recovery of bilateral relations between the two countries.

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Baghdad bombing sparks global condemnation



Condemnations are pouring in from across the world over twin suicide bombings in Iraq’s capital Baghdad that killed at least 32 people and wounded 110 others.

The attack rocked a busy commercial market in Baghdad when two suicide bombers detonated explosives they were carrying near al-Tayaran Square, the Iraqi Health Ministry said.

The Turkish Embassy in Baghdad strongly condemned the bombing affirming Turkey’s stand with Iraq.

Turkey’s Ambassador in Baghdad Fatih Yildiz tweeted: “I strongly condemn the dehumanized groups that today showed their ugly face in Baghdad again after a long period of time.”

The Turkish diplomat prayed for the victims and wished quick recovery for the wounded, asserting that “Turkey, as usual, is always beside you.”

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing and offered condolences to the families of the victims, according to the official Wafa news agency.

“We stand in solidarity with Iraq, the president, the government and the people, as a result of the heinous terrorist act that targeted defenseless innocent people,” Abbas said.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the bombing stressing support for Iraq in the face of everything threatening its security.

In a statement, the ministry spokesman, Dhaifallah Al-Fayez, described the bombing as a “cowardly terrorist act that aims to destabilize security and stability and contradicts with religious and humanitarian values ​​and principles.”

The Qatari Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the bombing in the capital, Baghdad, reiterating Doha’s firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and causes.

In a statement, the ministry offered condolences to the families of the victims and the government and people of Iraq, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

For its part, Egypt condemned the bombing, expressing its sincere condolences and sympathy to the brotherly Iraqi government and people for the victims of this “disgraceful act of terrorism”, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

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The Egyptian Foreign Ministry affirmed in a statement that it “stands by brotherly Iraq in its endeavors to maintain security and stability and confront all forms of terrorism and extremism.”

Canada’s Ambassador in Baghdad Ulric Shannon strongly condemned the bombing describing it as a “disgusting event.”

“It is with great sadness and sorrow that I received the news of the terrorist attack in the Bab Al Sharqi region,” he said. “I wish the wounded a speedy recovery, mercy and forgiveness for the martyrs.”

The international coalition against ISIS (Daesh) called the Baghdad attack another example of terrorists killing Iraqis and harming those seeking peace.

It affirmed to continue its support for the Iraqi government to achieve security and stability.

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