Turkish prosecutors drop investigation into alleged killing of Syrian refugee at border

An investigation into the death of Syrian refugee Ridwan Îd Numan El Ehmed, who was allegedly killed in November at the Turkey-Syria border, has been dropped by the Turkish prosecutor, the BirGün daily reported.

His family had earlier filed a criminal complaint claiming El Ehmed was killed after being detained by Turkish soldiers following his crossing into southeastern Mardin province from Syria’s northern Hasakah province on November 27.

While there were no witnesses to the incident, footage from a surveillance camera in the border area was deleted two days after the incident, the prosecutor’s office concluded.

Azad Kaya, the lawyer for the El Ehmed family, said the investigation was not properly carried out and that an actual eyewitness in the case was not called by the prosecutor’s office. According to Kaya the witness was a commander who was also a suspect in the killing, all of which point to a “violation of the principle of independence and impartiality of the investigation.”

Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees, 3.7 million from Syria granted temporary protection status and over 400,000 refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

Hate crimes against refugees and migrants, who are blamed for many of Turkey’s social and economic ills, have been escalating in the country in recent years.

Turkish media including pro-government and opposition outlets fuel and exploit the flames of hatred against people who fled their countries and sought refuge in Turkey.

According to Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, 19,336 Syrian refugees have been deported from the country for security reasons since 2016.

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