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Back Activities Alert Archive ACTION ALERT: Turkish Aid Worker still being Detained in Pakistan

ACTION ALERT: Turkish Aid Worker still being Detained in Pakistan

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Levent Karagulle is a Turkish citizen who has been detained in Pakistan for over three months without charge.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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28 April 2006

ACTION ALERT: Turkish Aid Worker still being Detained in Pakistan

Background

Levent Karagulle is a Turkish citizen who has been detained in Pakistan for over three months without charge. Levent was in Pakistan to study Arabic and Islamic Studies. Following the devastating earthquake, Levent began to put in all his efforts into relief work in Muzafferabad. He was joined there by former IHRC Prisoner of Faith, Intissar Saatcioglu, who later became his wife. They decided they would return to Turkey after the Eid festival in late January.

On 24 January 2006, 15-20 armed men raided their home in Pakistan at 0330 AM. They threatened them with guns and put a black fabric bag over Levent's head after blindfolding and handcuffing him. Despite repeated requests for the men's identity, they refused to say who they were. Levent and Intissar were taken away and imprisoned and their entire belongings confiscated. Levent was severely beaten in interrogation. After several days, an embassy official visited Initssar and told her that an Arab man wanted by the US for fighting in Afghanistan used to live in their house before them.

Due to external pressure, Intissar was finally released on 31 January 2006 and sent back to Turkey. Levent however, under severe physical and psychological torture, was forced to sign a “confession” written in Urdu, which he does not understand. There has been no news about Levent since 31 January 2006. In his absence, his wife has become seriously ill and his mother has been diagnosed for cancer and has undergone serious operations in relation to it.

Previous cases of foreign nationals being detained by the Pakistani security services has resulted in their transfer to American prisons such as Guantanamo Bay and Diego Garcia, or in their complete disappearance.


Action Requested:

IHRC urges all campaigners to

a) Contact their local Pakistani embassy or consulate and request the immediate release of Levant Karagulle

b) Contact their local Turkish embassy and request that they put pressure on Pakistan for the release of Levent Karagulle

Sample letters and details of the Pakistani High Commission and Turkish embassy in London can be found below for your convenience.

Dr Maleeha Lodi
High Commissioner for Pakistan
Pakistan High Commission
34-36 Lowndes Square
London, SW1X 9JN

Tel. 020 7664 9227
Fax. 020 7664 9224
Email: pareplondon@supanet.com

Find your local Pakistani embassy or consulate details at the following link http://pakavenue.com/db/Government_and_Politics/Pakistani_Embassies/

H.E. Mr Akin Alptuna
Ambassador's Office
Turkish Embassy
43 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8PA

Tel. 020 7201 7043/44
Fax. 020 7393 9213

Find your local Turkish embassy details at the following link

http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/Turkey/turkey1.html


SAMPLE LETTER 1


[Your Name]
[Your Address]

Dr Maleeha Lodi
High Commissioner for Pakistan
Pakistan High Commission
34-36 Lowndes Square
London, SW1X 9JN

Tel. 020 7664 9227
Fax. 020 7664 9224
Email: pareplondon@supanet.com


[Date]


Dear Dr Lodi:

RE: Detention of Turkish relief workers by Pakistani Security Service

I am writing to express my deep concern about the fate of a Turkish citizen, Levent Karagulle, who has been detained in Pakistan for over three months without charge. He has not been heard from since 31 January 2006.

Levent was studying in Pakistan before focusing his efforts to carry our relief work in Muzafferabad following the devastating earthquake. He and his wife, Intissar Saatcioglu, were arrested and detained without charge on 24 January 2006. After Intissar was released on 31 January 2006, it emerged that the couple were detained because an Arab man wanted by the US used to reside in their house before they moved in. Intissar also claimed that her husband was severely beaten by the Pakistani security services.

Previous incidents of detention by Pakistan's security services have lead to the illegal transfer of detainees to American custody with the whereabouts of many of the detainees completely unknown. Ex-detainees have described in detail how they were tortured during their detention. As you are no doubt aware, such actions are in blatant contravention of international law.

My deepest concern however is that in this case the detainee is a relief worker who was trying to help alleviate the suffering of the people of Pakistan. His detention therefore is most abhorrent. In his absence, his wife has become seriously ill and his mother has been diagnosed with cancer and undergone serious surgery in relation to it.

I urge the Pakistani government to immediately release Levent Karagulle.

I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.


Yours Sincerely,

[Your Sign]
[Your Name]



SAMPLE LETTER 2



[Your Name]
[Your Address]



[Date]

H.E. Mr Akin Alptuna
Ambassador's Office
Turkish Embassy
43 Belgrave Square
London, SW1X 8PA

Tel. 020 7201 7043/44
Fax. 020 7393 9213

To HE Mr Akin Alptuna:

RE: Detention of Turkish relief worker by Pakistani Security Services

I am writing to express my deep concern about the fate of Turkish citizen, Levent Karagulle, who has been detained without charge in Pakistan for over three months. He has not been heard from since 31 January 2006.

Levent was studying in Pakistan before focusing his efforts to carry our relief work in Muzafferabad following the devastating earthquake. He and his wife, Intissar Saatcioglu, were arrested and detained without charge on 24 January 2006. After Intissar was released on 31 January 2006, it emerged that the couple were detained because an Arab man wanted by the US used to reside in their house before they moved in. Intissar also claimed that her husband was severely beaten by the Pakistani security services.

Previous incidents of detention by Pakistan's security services, including that of Turkish citizen, Murat Kurnaz, have lead to the illegal transfer of detainees to American custody with the whereabouts of many of the detainees completely unknown. Ex-detainees have described in detail how they were tortured during their detention. As you are no doubt aware, such actions are in blatant contravention of international law.

My deepest concern however is that in this case the detainee is a relief worker who was trying to help alleviate the suffering of the people of Pakistan. His detention therefore is most abhorrent. In his absence, his wife has become seriously ill and his mother has been diagnosed with cancer and undergone serious surgery in relation to it.

I urge you to pressure the Pakistani authorities to immediately release Levent Karagulle, whose only crime was to help the poor and needy.

I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.


Yours Sincerely,

[Your Sign]
[Your Name]

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