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Türkiye: Killed human rights lawyer – police officer acquitted

Türkiye: Killed human rights lawyer – police officer acquitted
Türkiye: Killed human rights lawyer – police officer acquitted

The Kurdish lawyer Tahir Elci was shot dead at a rally in 2015. A trial to clarify the background lasted for years, but at the end of it there are only more question marks.

Even nine years after the death of Kurdish human rights lawyer Tahir Elci in Turkey, there is still no legal resolution of the case. A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir acquitted three police officers on Wednesday who had been accused of negligent homicide in the case, the state news agency Anadolu reported. The verdict drew sharp criticism from human rights activists.

Elci was killed in Diyarbakir on November 28, 2015. The peace activist had held a press conference there when police opened fire on two fleeing members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). They had shot two police officers nearby shortly before.

Elci was killed by a shot to the head. He was head of the city’s bar association at the time. The Turkish government claimed that Elci was shot by the refugees. However, an investigation by the research group “Forensic Architecture” at Goldsmiths University in London in early 2019 found that police officers probably shot Elci.

The human rights organization Amnesty International called the verdict a “serious blow to justice” and said the decision had “further highlighted the serious failure of the authorities to conduct a comprehensive, prompt, independent and impartial investigation into Elçi’s murder.”

Source: Stern

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