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LOCAL > Comatose 15-year old Gezi victim Berkin Elvan drops to 16 kilos

ISTANBUL

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The young teenager went into a coma after sustaining a head injury from a gas canister as he went to buy bread during a police crackdown in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood last June.

The young teenager went into a coma after sustaining a head injury from a gas canister as he went to buy bread during a police crackdown in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood last June.

Gezi Park protest victim Berkin Elvan, who turned 15 in January while still in a coma, is in a critical condition and has dropped to a weight of just 16 kilos, lawyers representing his family said in a statement March 9.

The young teenager went into a coma after sustaining a head injury from a gas canister as he went to buy bread during a police crackdown in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood last June.

Elvan was affected by an epileptic fit on March 6, his heart stop a day later, and on March 9 doctors diagnosed an air pocket in his lungs.  

“Berkin who was 45 kilos when he was shot weighs now 16 kilos. His young body has resisted for 267 days to the damage caused by the gas canister fired by the police the same way that our people resisted against fascism. But that resistance is gradually decreasing and the damage to his inner organs is growing due to the fact that his brain functions are very low. He is currently connected to a life support unit,” the statement said.

“Hope will never be consumed. Informing our people who never left Berkin’s family alone during his convalescence about his condition is our responsibility,” lawyers also said, conveying the family’s call to gather in solidarity in front of the hospital in the Okmeydanı neighborhood where Elvan is battling for his life.

The officers who shot Elvan are still unidentified and no procedure of internal investigation has yet been concluded.

The family has repeatedly slammed the officials for protecting the perpetrators and announced that they would be starting a legal process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as no effective domestic investigation had been carried out for the last seven months.

Five protesters, Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, Ahmet Cömert, Ethem Sarısülük, Ali İsmail Korkmaz and Ahmet Atakan, died during crackdowns during the Gezi protests last summer. The family also mentioned Medeni Yıldırım, who was shot during a protest against the building of a new gendarmerie post in Diyarbakır’s Lice district and Hasan Ferit Gedik, who was killed in a clash between gangs and leftist groups in Istanbul’s Maltepe district, as among the fatal victims of police violence in their statements.

March/09/2014

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