AI Index: EUR 44/1365/2015
1 April 2015
Turkey: Amnesty International condemns the hostage taking and killing of Istanbul prosecutor
Amnesty International condemns yesterday’s hostage taking and killing of prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz. The siege by the armed leftist group Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) at the prosecutor’s office at Istanbul’s Cağlayan Court House, ended at aproximately 9pm. Both hostage takers and the prosecutor were killed following a shoot out with police.
In a video circulated via social media, a masked hostage taker was shown holding a gun to the head of the prosecutor. Amnesty International condemns the act of hostage taking which violates the most basic principles of international law. The organisation calls for the authorities to launch a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident and to bring all those responsible to justice in a fair trial. Amnesty International also calls on the authorities to launch an impartial and independent investigation into the police operation in which both hostage takers were shot dead and in which the prosecutor also died of gunshot wounds.
Mehmet Selim Kiraz was the latest prosecutor to be assigned to the investigation into the death of 14 year-old Berkin Elvan who died following injuries sustained at the scene of a Gezi Park protest in June 2013. According to witnesses, Berkin Elvan was hit by a tear gas canister fired by a police officer from close range. Despite this, the police officers have not yet been identified and no prosecution has been brought. The hostage takers demanded that the names of the police officers responsible for Berkin Elvan’s death were released by the authorities.