Video exposes police negligence during heart attack of teacher tortured in custody

Bold Medya has released a video showing the negligence of police officers in the death of Gökhan Açıkkollu, a purged history teacher who died of a heart attack while under detention in 2016.

In the video Açıkkollu, who was reportedly tortured for 13 days prior to his heart attack, is seen in a one-person cell with four other inmates in the basement of an İstanbul police department building.

At around four in the morning on Aug. 5, he starts showing signs of discomfort. He approaches the bars and calls out to police officers for a few minutes, but no one shows up.

After he returns to his bed, spasms begin a few minutes later, which wakes up the other detainees in the cell.

It takes four more minutes until detention ward officers take him out of the cell, at which point he no longer shows signs of life.

Testimony taken from a doctor who was also held under custody in the same building says Açıkkollu had no pulse when he was asked to perform cardiac massage.

The video was shared by a prosecutor’s office with the victim’s family members, who had requested it based on eyewitness testimony by other detainees that he was brought back to his cell only half-conscious from torture.

The prosecutor’s office, however, did not release all the footage requested, but only the final 55 minutes showing Açıkkollu’s last moments alive.

Açıkkollu was detained on July 24, 2016 on trumped-up charges of coup plotting and terrorism and remained in police custody for 13 days, during which time he was subjected to both physical and psychological torture until he died.

In a report titled “Tortured to Death” SCF investigators on Nov. 21, 2017 exposed the case of the 42-year-old Açıkkollu.

The torture, ill-treatment, abusive, inhuman and degrading treatment of people who are deprived of their liberties in Turkey’s detention centers and prisons have become the norm rather than the exception under increased nationalistic euphoria and religious zealotry in the country in the wake of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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