Family of Turkish prisoner in UAE fresh submit complaint

Relatives of Turkish prisoner in UAE submit 'crimes against humanity' complaint, targeting Emirates, US Consulate General
2 min read
10 June, 2021
It is claimed Mehmet, who was handed life in jail, suffered torture during his detention.
Mehmet Ali Ozturk was first detained in February 2018 [Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty-archive]

A new formal accusation of "crimes against humanity" has been submitted by relatives of a Turkish prisoner held in the UAE.

Mehmet Ali Ozturk's relatives' complaint concerned the UAE, plus the US Consulate General in Istanbul.

Ozturk's family and their attorneys submitted the complaint to the Istanbul Prosecutor General's Office on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.

His son, Abdullah Ozturk, wife, Emine Ozturk, and two lawyers gave a statement outside the Istanbul Justice Palace.

Mehmet's legal representatives say he and Emine were detained in Dubai in February 2018.

Although his wife was returned to Turkey a day later, Mehmet's location has reportedly been undisclosed for three months.

It is also claimed Mehmet, an aid worker, has suffered torture and according to a legal representative was handed life in jail, accused of backing terror.

Mehmet has now spent three years at Al-Wathba Prison in Abu Dhabi.

His legal team said he is health is constantly deteriorating.

His attorneys accuse Washington's involvement in the case with the US Consulate General in Istanbul allegedly handing the UAE information on Mehmet.

The New Arab cannot independently verify these claims.

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A previous complaint last December saw the office start a probe and request the UAE begin legal action.

This fresh submission calls for figures at the US Consulate General in Istanbul to be held to account for their alleged conduct.

The UAE has recently faced other allegations of torture.

Late last month, a British football fan started civil action against six figures in the Emirates over claims he was tortured in the country in 2019.

Ali Issa Ahmed appears to have set up a legal fundraiser on CrowdJustice in 2019, explaining: "I was tortured in the UAE for wearing a Qatar football shirt at an Asian Cup [m]atch."

The New Arab has approached the US State Department and UAE embassy in Turkey for comment but did not receive a response at time of publication.