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
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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.


Thousands protest in Algiers despite tight security

Updated 20 September 2019

Thousands protest in Algiers despite tight security

  • Salah on Wednesday ordered police to block protesters from outside Algiers entering the capital to boost numbers at the anti-regime rallies
  • Friday's protest marked Algeria's 31st consecutive week of rallies

ALGIERS: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Algerian capital on Friday in defiance of a heavy security presence to demand the ouster of the country's army chief.
Demonstrators gathered near the capital's main post office square, the epicentre of Algeria's protest movement that forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down in April, this time calling for the ouster of General Ahmed Gaid Salah.
"The people want the fall of Gaid Salah," the strongman in post-Bouteflika Algeria, they chanted. "Take us all to prison, the people will not stop."
Friday's protest marked Algeria's 31st consecutive week of rallies, but protesters faced a heavy deployment of security forces in the city centre and along its main avenues.
Salah on Wednesday ordered police to block protesters from outside Algiers entering the capital to boost numbers at the anti-regime rallies.
The tougher line on protests came just days after interim president Abdelkader Bensalah announced a December 12 date for a presidential election to fill the vacuum left by Bouteflika's departure.
The army chief has led the push for polls by the end of 2019, despite mass protests demanding political reforms and the removal of the former president's loyalists -- including Gaid Salah himself -- before any vote.
In the runup to the latest rally, as on previous Fridays, police made several arrests near the square, AFP photographers said.
Police stopped vehicles on main streets in the capital and an AFP journalist saw officers in plainclothes ask for identity papers, before some were led off to nearby vans.
As a police helicopter scoured the skies, security forces also stopped cars headed towards the city centre from its southwest entrance, where a dozen anti-riot police vans were stationed.
Said Salhi, deputy head of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, condemned the heightened security measures as "illegal".
Demonstrations have officially been banned in Algiers since 2001 but the prohibition had been ignored since rallies started on February 22 against the ailing Bouteflika's bid for a fifth presidential term.