Palestinian’s suspicious death in Turkey: ‘Those who did this to my brother are not human’

Zaki’s family does not believe he committed suicide in prison. (AFP/File)
Updated 17 May 2019

Palestinian’s suspicious death in Turkey: ‘Those who did this to my brother are not human’

  • Brother of deceased said Turkish authorities emptied the body of organs
  • Turkish medical report confirms the presence of injuries on the body

DUBAI: Those who defiled the body of his brother are not human, lamented the sibling of a Palestinian who died while in Turkish custody for allegations of espionage.

Those who committed this are not human, Zakariya Mubarak told Al-Arabiya in a live interview.

“The tongue was not inside the body, it was stuffed with cotton,” he said.

Worse, it is now impossible to reinvestigate the stated reasons for Zaki’s death, as the cadaver’s current state makes it hard to perform autopsy again.

“I was just told that it is impossible to rerun the autopsy, as there is nothing inside the body, it was completely emptied,” Zakariya explained.

Turkish authorities have claimed that Zaki died in custody after committing suicide on April 28, but his family believes he died of torture in Turkish prisons. He was earlier detained along with another Palestinian on charges of espionage.

Zakariya told Al-Arabiya that he was shocked when he first saw the body of his brother, as the injuries Zaki suffered made him even unsure if it was him.

“Until his two daughters came and recognized him by the special markings on his body,” he added.

Zakariya described his brother as a trusting person who was betrayed by the same people he trusted.

“Zaki had great trust in the Islamic system in Turkey,” he said.

The man said his brother believed that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was supportive of Palestinians, which encouraged him to enter Turkey with his Palestinian passport.

“He could have entered with the Bulgarian refugee document, it could have protected him from what he went through,” he explained.

Zakariya said his brother was betrayed because he was Palestinian, “as if the Palestinian blood is cheap.”

He said the Palestinian embassy has not provided much help or support, he had to move the body to Egypt on his own.

“We are very grateful to Egypt for providing the moral support, however, what they can do is limited,” Zakariya said.

A physical examination is the solution the deceased’s family decided to follow, as an autopsy would not reveal the cause of death due to the body’s state.

“I am sure we will win in the international courts,” Zakariya said.

Zakariya also claimed the Turkish medical report contradicts itself, and confirms the presence of injuries and wound marks on the body.

Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

Updated 21 May 2019

Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

  • Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Lebanon insists that the area lies within its economic zone and refuses to give up a single part of it

BEIRUT: Lebanon has hinted that progress is being made in efforts to resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel following the return of a US mediator from talks with Israeli officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield returned to Lebanon following talks in Israel where he outlined Lebanese demands regarding the disputed area and the mechanism to reach a settlement.

The US mediator has signaled a new push to resolve the dispute after meetings with both Lebanese and Israeli officials.

Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to begin offshore oil and gas production in the offshore Block 9 as it grapples with an economic crisis.

A source close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who met with Satterfield on Monday after his return to Lebanon, told Arab News that “there is progress in the efforts, but the discussion is not yet over.” He did not provide further details.

Sources close to the Lebanese presidency confirmed that Lebanon is counting on the US to help solve the demarcation dispute and would like to accelerate the process to allow exploration for oil and gas to begin in the disputed area.

Companies that will handle the exploration require stability in the area before they start working, the sources said.

Previous efforts by Satterfield to end the dispute failed in 2012 and again last year after Lebanon rejected a proposal by US diplomat Frederick Hoff that offered 65 percent of the disputed area to Lebanon and 35 percent to Israel. Lebanon insisted that the area lies within its economic zone and refused to give up a single part of it.

Satterfield has acknowledged Lebanon’s ownership of around 500 sq km of the disputed 850 sq km area.

Lebanon renewed its commitment to a mechanism for setting the negotiations in motion, including the formation of a tripartite committee with representatives of Lebanon, Israel and the UN, in addition to the participation of the US mediator. Beirut also repeated its refusal to negotiate directly with Israel.

Two months ago, Lebanon launched a marine environmental survey in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters to allow a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies to begin oil and gas exploration in the area.