Probe into infant’s death by gas bomb rejected by district governor in Turkish southeast
The Cizre district governorate has refused to give permission for an investigation into a gendarmerie officer's killing of an 18-month-old baby with a gas grenade, saying a probe was unnecessary due to insufficient evidence, daily Taraf has reported.
Mehmet Uytun was hit in the head by a gas grenade in 2009 while he was on his mother’s lap at their home, during a police intervention into a demonstration in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak. Uytun died in the hospital after being kept in intensive care for 10 days.
According to the prosecutors’ report, Hakan Alkan, the specialist gendarmerie in question, fired his gun in line with his job definition. The incident took place as a result of Alkan performing within the defined line of duty.
The forensic medicine institution said the baby was killed due to a head trauma in its report.
Prosecutors applied to the Cizre district government to open an official investigation into Hakan Alkan's role in the death. However, the application has been declined, as there was not deemed to be enough concrete evidence about the specialist gendarmerie.
The Public Prosecutors’ Office of Cizre has ended the process, saying a criminal investigation into the suspect could not be launched according to the law, pointing to the Cizre district government’s refusal to open an inquiry.
However, lawyer Rehşan Bataray Saman, a member of the Human Rights Association’s (İHD) Diyarbakır branch, has vowed to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).