Death of prisoner who pulled Turkish flag down is ‘suspicious’
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Ali Uçkun was found hanged in a cell at Istanbul’s Metris prison July 9. AA PhotoThe death of the man imprisoned for attempting to pull down a Turkish flag should be investigated, Turkish human rights activists said July 14.
Ali Uçkun, 28, was found hanged in a cell at Istanbul’s Metris prison July 9, 10 days after he had been arrested while trying to pull down a flag at a police station.
Uçkun was charged with “propagating a terrorist organization,” “committing crime on behalf of a terrorist organization” and “publicly humiliating the Turkish national flag.”
“We do not condone the incident [of June 28]. However, Uçkun was diagnosed with schizophrenia [80 percent] and should have been hospitalized for treatment instead of being put in jail,” Turkey-based Human Rights Association’s chairman Abdulbaki Boga told reporters on July 14, before filing a criminal complaint about the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor.
“The issue of an arrest order for a schizophrenic, instead of hospitalization, constitutes a crime on the part of the prosecutor and judge, who had succumbed to rage,” the letter states, adding Uçkun’s death appears suspicious and the incident hints the signs of murder as a result of neglect on the part of prison guards.
The group called on all perpetrators to be tried for premeditated murder, criminal abuse of duty, and torture.
Initial police reports stated Uçkun had committed suicide by hanging himself and the corpse was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Institute for further examination and an autopsy.