CAIRO: The family of Zaki Mubarak, the Palestinian who died in Turkish custody, filed an official request on Thursday with the Egyptian attorney general to re-examine his body and determine the cause of death. The Turkish authorities said that Mubarak, who had been sentenced to death for espionage, committed suicide by hanging himself.
He had disappeared in Turkey in early April. Seventeen days later, the Turkish authorities announced that he had been arrested on April 22, and at the end of the month said he had committed suicide. Mubarak’s body was brought to Egypt, and is now in the Palestine hospital in Cairo. Mubarak’s family appointed an Egyptian lawyer to follow up the case and request a re-examination of the body.
Dr. Zakaria Mubarak, the brother of Zaki, said he was unable to identify the body due to its distorted features and the absence of organs, including the tongue, noting that marks on the body suggested that he was tortured.
A source in Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office told Arab News that under the Egyptian law, the public prosecutor can re-examine the body and prepare a medical report at the request of the brother of the victim.
Amjad Samir, a researcher in Turkish affairs, said that Turkey faces unprecedented accusations of human-rights violations. He explained that Turkey sought to falsify information regarding the torture of Mubarak by triggering espionage theories to obscure what Erdogan is doing.
Samir said that this latest case will increase the pressure on Turkey from international organizations, and will shed more light on the rights violations in prisons and the arrests of dissidents.
Mubarak’s family said they would demand the punishment of all those involved in his killing right up to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The family said the Selevri prison in Istanbul is infamous and demanded that officials provide video from the surveillance cameras in the prison to prove the authenticity of their story.
Ankara did not provide any evidence to support the story that Mubarak had committed suicide, reinforcing the story of the family of the victim, which accused the Turkish government of torturing him to extract confessions of espionage.