A young Kurdish man dies suspiciously in Turkish police custody

Turkish police claims on Friday that 24-year-old M.A., who was detained on a road check point in Antalya’s Gazipaşa district, has committed suicide by jumping out of a 3rd floor window of the District Security Directorate.

According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency, the Güney Outpost units under the Gazipaşa District Gendarmerie Command stopped a passenger bus coming from mostly Kurdish populated Southeast Anatolie at a road check point and M.A. was detained after the ID checks.

M.A. was referred to court after processing in the gendarmerie, and then gave a deposition in the prosecutor’s office. Later, he was turned over to Alanya Security Directorate Anti-terror Unit Police. M.A. was taken to the Gazipaşa District Security Directorate from the court house and the police claims that he jumped out of a window on the third floor at 18.00 yesterday. M.A.’s body has been taken to the Antalya Forensic Medicine Institution for an autopsy.

The Turkish state has a long history of executions in police stations, and there is suspicion that M.A. was also executed and the death was made to look like a suicide. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicious Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most cases, authorities concluded these as suicides without any effective, independent investigation.

The suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention. SCF has compiled 97 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list as of December 14, 2017 in a searchable database format.

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