Police officer arrested in death of 12-year-old boy in Cizre
ŞIRNAK – Doğan News AgencyA police officer from Mardin’s special operations division was arrested late Jan. 28 in connection with the shooting death of Nihat Kazanhan, a 12-year-old boy who was killed in the restive southeastern district of Cizre on Jan. 14.
H.B. was arrested and sent to prison following an investigation ordered by the Interior Ministry.
Kazanhan was allegedly shot dead by police as he played with friends. According to an eyewitness only identified as E.S., police came to the Yafes neighborhood and told children playing there, “as long as you throw stones, we’ll shoot bullets at you,” before launching a barrage of tear gas and bullets at the children.
A day after the killing, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu denied that the death of Kazanhan had come at the hands of the security forces. “I want to express clearly that it is out of the question that the boy who lost his life in Cizre was shot dead by our security forces’ bullets,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Davutoğlu as saying.
The Interior Ministry, however, later acknowledged that police might have been responsible. “According to the first findings of inspectors, there are suggestions that some of the security forces inside vehicles at the scene might be at fault in the incident,” the ministry said in a statement released Jan. 20.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said on Jan. 20 that the state was aware of “plots” in Cizre, suggesting that some parts of the security forces might be responsible for attempting to derail the Kurdish peace bid.
Seven people have been killed in violence in Cizre and the nearby district of Silopi since the end of last month.