“Suicide” of man detained by Turkey on charges of spying for UAE causes questions, casts doubts

The “suicide” of one of the two people arrested in Turkey on charges of espionage for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has raised eyebrows in international circles. According to information published so far, 55-year-old retired Lieutenant-General of the Palestinian forces, Zaki Y. M. Hasan, was reported by the Turks as a senior intelligence officer.

Well placed sources that are in a position to know but insist on anonymity fearing for their lives, questioned the Turkish Government’s version about the death of Zaki Y. M. Hasan, speaking of “medieval tortures” suffered by the prisoner, which caused his death.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights has condemned the death of Zaki Yousouf, as it calls the deceased, as a result of torture. The organization demanded that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture send a commission to examine the corpse so as not to allow Turkish authorities to conceal their crimes and bury the body without a neutral autopsy carried out by the United Nations.

According to the official version, the Palestinian hung himself from the door of his cell, where he was being detained in solitary confinement, in “Silivri” prison. Media are referring to the first reactions of the deceased’s family, which are voicing strong reservations against the official version.

The son of the deceased says that his father had gone to Turkey seeking work while his daughter ruled suicide out as being impossible on the basis of her father’s demeanor and personality. The family stated that they had lost contact with him on April 7th and that they were surprised by what was reported in the press as the cause of his arrest, speaking of obvious “false accusations”.

The Turkish press, the freedom of which has been curtailed under the rule of AKP, also attempted to link the presence of Zaki YM Hasan in Turkey with the “Kashogi case”, the Saudi journalist who lost his life in his country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.

According to the official Turkish version, the deceased and the other prisoner, both Palestinians, were conducting espionage on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Especially, as concerns Zaki Y. M. Hasan, Turkish sources speak of a high-ranking intelligence officer.

There has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths and “Suicides” in Turkey, most in jails and detention centers, where torture is being practiced. In the majority of cases, authorities concluded they were suicides without any effective, independent investigation.