Complaint Filed to UN over Death of Palestinian in Turkish Custody

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Complaint Filed to UN over Death of Palestinian in Turkish Custody
12 May, 2019

The sister of Zaki Mubarak shows his picture during an interview in their family home in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza Strip on April 30, 2019. (AFP)

Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat

A rights group submitted to the UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions, and on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment a complaint on the death of the Palestinian Zaki Mubarak inside a Turkish prison days after his arrest.

The Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights demanded an investigation into the suspicions that Mubarak may have been tortured and killed by Turkish authorities, saying it had several pieces of evidence from his lawyer and family.

The foundation said that Mubarak and his colleague Samer Shaban disappeared on April 3 in Turkey.

Three weeks later, Turkish authorities were forced to declare their arrest and that they were placed in individual cells in the notorious Silivri Penitentiaries Campus near Istanbul.

Turkey accused them of espionage for the UAE without presenting any evidence, said Zaki’s lawyer, who said they would be released on April 30.

Soon after, however, Turkish authorities said Mubarak had committed suicide.

The Maat foundation warned that the other suspect may be a victim of the same fate. It therefore demanded that an investigation be opened in Mubarak’s death.

Head of the foundation Ayman Aqil urged a quick and independent probe with the participation of international and UN agencies.

Turkey has repeatedly refused to hand Mubarak's body to his family. The family as accused Ankara of stalling in order to hide the evidence of torture on the victim.


 

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

Arab News
May 16, 2019

  • 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.


 

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Zaki Mubarak’s Family: Turkish Authorities Tortured him before his Death
18 May, 2019


The sister of Zaki Mubarak shows his picture during an interview in their family home in Gaza on April 30. (AFP)

Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

The family of a Palestinian detainee, who died in custody in Turkey, said his body was badly mutilated before his death.

Zaki Mubarak’s tongue was removed, there were effects of blows to his head, deep cut in his foot and an impact of strikes to his chest.

Mubarak was accused by Ankara of espionage in favor of the United Arab Emirates and was allegedly found hanging in a Turkish prison three weeks ago.

His brother Zinedine Mubarak Abu Sbitan told AFP that the family had received the body in a moldy coffin. The body has been since Monday at Palestine Hospital in Cairo and will be transferred to Gaza to be buried.

Zinedine held Turkish authorities responsible for this crime and demanded an impartial international committee to investigate it, denying all charges against his brother.

Another brother Zakaria, who is in Cairo, said he did not want to return his brother's body to Gaza until "we get a doctor's report showing he died due to torture and not suicide."

He told AFP he had seen the body in a Cairo hospital and confirmed the evidence of torture.

Zaki was arrested last month and charged with "military and political" and "international espionage".

The Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office revealed that the suspect, who was arrested along with another on April 28, was found hanging in front of the bathroom in his solitary confinement cell at Silivri Penitentiaries Campus.

Turkish newspapers claimed the two men had links with UAE. The media, further, accused a Palestinian leader of spearheading the coup attempt in Turkey in June 2016, but Zaki’s family denied him having any ties with that official.

 

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‘The body is completely empty’: Family of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English
Thursday, 16 May 2019
Last Update: Sunday, 19 May 2019 - GMT 10:50


Zakaria Mubarak speaks with Al Arabiya after receiving his brother’s body in Cairo. (Al Arabiya)

The brother of a Palestinian who died while in Turkish custody said that it was impossible for the family to perform another autopsy as “there is nothing left inside” the body.

“It is impossible to dissect the body again because there is nothing left inside, the body is completely empty. Even the tongue does not exist,” Zakaria Mubarak, Zaki Mubarak’s brother, told Al Arabiya from Cairo.

Last month, Turkey said that Mubarak, one of the two Palestinian men arrested on alleged espionage charges in April, died while in custody and called his death a suicide.

Mubarak’s family said they were skeptical of the suicide claims and called for an investigation into the matter.

“There isn’t even a tongue … Those that committed this crime are not humans,” says Zakaria Mubarak, after seeing the body of his brother, Zaki Mubarak, who died while in Turkish custody. ‘The body is completely empty’: Family of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail pic.twitter.com/2NhccmXwgv
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 17, 2019
“It is a horrible thing, the body showed signs of brutal torture and it was almost deformed. In fact, I was in shock and amazement. I did not even recognize my brother,” Zakaria said after receiving the body in Cairo. “His daughters were able to identify him through distinctive features,” he added.
The family has also called into question the coroner’s report from Istanbul, which was translated into three languages.

“The report contradicted itself. It stated that the result of death was natural but at the same time, it said that the cause of death was due to several injuries. International courts will review all documents,” Zakaria said.

According to the family, Mubarak’s body has been fully photographed in order to provide further evidence of torture.

“They (the Turks) performed dissection throughout his body, even his tongue had been removed and replaced with cotton,” he said.



 

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Family of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail waiting for new autopsy, report
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English
Saturday, 18 May 2019

The daughter (L) and son of Zaki Mubarak hold his picture during an interview in their family home in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza. (AFP)

The family of a Palestinian who died while in Turkish custody said they are still waiting for a new medical report and autopsy to be performed before they consent to transfer his body from Cairo to Gaza.

Last month, Turkey said that Zaki Mubarak, one of two Palestinian men arrested on alleged espionage charges in April, died while in custody and called his death a suicide. His family said Mubarak’s body showed signs of torture and have demanded an international investigation into the case.

Apart from a planned autopsy, Mubarak’s brother Zakaria said that they were also waiting for a medical team’s report from the Palestinian embassy which observed the body without performing an autopsy.

“We want the report so that we can take it to the International Criminal Court, the Hague Tribunal or any other international court since it has been proven that my brother was killed,” said Zakaria Mubarak.

According to one of Mubarak’s cousins, the family has seen a lack of effort from Palestinian authorities to monitor and follow-up on the case from the beginning.

“We officially demand from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian public prosecutor to submit a report to form a judicial committee to investigate this failure,” said Abs Mubarak.

The family’s lawyer told Al Arabiya that the family is also waiting for a response from the Egyptian Attorney General’s office to their request for an autopsy and a new medical report.

“The victim, Zaki Yusuf Mubarak, was being held at Silivri Prison, which has 24-monitoring via cameras. We asked the Turkish authorities to show us footage of his cell but they said they did not have any despite them having shown footage in other cases,” Ghonaim Sharif told Al Arabiya.

 

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Palestinian Man Killed in Turkey Buried in Gaza
Saturday, 25 May, 2019

The daughter (L) and son of Zaki Mubarak hold his picture during an interview in their family home in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza strip on April 30, 2019. MAHMUD HAMS / AFP

Gaza - Asharq Al-Awsat

Zaki Mubarak, a Palestinian man who has died in a Turkish prison, was buried in the Gaza Strip after his body was transferred from Egypt through the Rafah crossing.

His family has expressed doubt on Turkish claims that Mubarak had committed suicide, stressing he was tortured.

Hundreds of Palestinians attended Mubarak’s funeral on Friday in the Deir al-Balah cemetery.

His brother, Zakaria Mubarak, told Al Arabiya that an Egyptian forensic team completed the autopsy on his brother's body, in preparation for a detailed report on the cause of death, saying he will be travelling to France to prepare a lawsuit against the Turkish government.

He accused Turkey of torturing and killing his brother.

Zaki Mubarak’s body was transferred last week from Turkey to Cairo. His family had insisted on carrying out an autopsy in Egypt, a request approved by Egyptian prosecutors.

After seeing his body on its arrival in Egypt, his family said it had been badly mutilated.

"His tongue was removed and we saw marks of torture on the corpse," said Abs Mubarak, his cousin, who is in Cairo.

Zaki Mubarak was arrested in Turkey last month.

 
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