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    Turkish activist's death report to be sent to prosecutor

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    15.10.2008 - 15:59 | Son Güncelleme:

    A report on the death of a leftist activist in prison would be sent to Public Prosecutor's Office, Turkey's Justice Minister said on Wednesday.

    Nineteen prison personnel have been suspended in Turkey amid allegations that a leftist activist, Engin Ceber, was tortured to death in custody at Istanbul’s Metris Prison.

    According to the preliminary findings, it is understood that there has been "ill treatment", Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin told reporters on Wednesday.

    "The surveillance camera footage is being observed. The prisoners and the detainees are being questioned. The statements of the other prison guards are being gathered," he said.

    “I hope this will be an example incident to serve as lesson to everybody and all government officers,” he added.

    Sahin Monday apologized for Ceber's ill-treatment and said those responsible would be punished. Such an apology was the first of its kind made in Turkey.

    Human rights groups say 29-year-old Ceber was severely beaten by officers while in custody. He died in a hospital from a brain hemorrhage on Saturday.

    Ceber was detained last month while protesting that police officers have not been brought to justice for allegedly shooting and paralyzing a youth selling a left-wing publication last year.

    The Turkish government has been working hard to improve the country’s human rights record, a highly sensitive issue in relations with the European Union. The government says it pursues a policy “zero tolerance to torture”.

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies brought the issue to the parliament’s agenda and called for the resignation of Interior Minister Besir Atalay.

     

    Photo: AA

     

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