tourist sentenced to 17 years in Turkey for buying drug he didn't know had recently been banned

Discussion in 'Drugs, Alcohol & Tobacco' started by kazenatsu, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

    May 15, 2017
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    A man from France who visited Turkey was sentenced to 17 years in prison for making an online purchase of a banned drug.
    The man claims he did not know the drug was illegal in Turkey, since there had recently been a change in law, and the drug had been available over-the-counter in Turkey when he visited 6 months earlier.

    This has to do with the problematic nature of drug laws, and laws in general. It can be hard for people to keep up with what all the numerous laws are, and some of them have serious consequences if you unintentionally violate them.

    In addition to that, this man faced terrible attacks while in prison, since Turkey is a Muslim country and the man was both gay and Jewish.

    A Frenchman serving time in a prison in Turkey is seeking to be repatriated after being the target of a number of violent homophobic attacks by fellow inmates.

    Fabien Azoulay, a 43-year-old French national of Jewish descent, was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for buying a recently-banned narcotic online during a short trip to Istanbul in 2017.

    Azoulay wasn't aware that the product, GBL (Gamma-Butyrolactone), had been classified as an illegal narcotic, as the substance was still available in the country, for over-the-counter purchases, six months before the incident.

    "The product had been banned in Turkey just a few months earlier. But the [Lithuanian] website had not updated the list of countries that had banned it. Azoulay was therefore unaware that this product had been classified as an illegal narcotic in Turkey," one of his lawyers, Carole-Olivia Montenot, told France 24.

    Since he was imprisoned, more than three years ago, Azoulay has been the victim of brutal attacks because of his sexual orientation and his Jewish religion.

    Some attacks have even sent him to a hospital, according to Montenot.

    In November 2019, a fellow prisoner who knew he was gay "threw boiling water all over Fabien's body, causing second-degree burns," she said, adding that he had to be transferred to a hospital.​ ... d=msedgntp
    April 15, 2021

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