Reports: Turkish activist brain dead after police brutality

Numerous reports point out that the global media has failed to report the brain death of Ethem Sarisuluk, who was apparently attacked by government forces

by The Commentator on 3 June 2013 13:51

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Turkish demonstrators have slammed the domestic and international media for failing to cover the recent wave of protests in Turkey.

While global news agencies are catching up with the situation on the ground in the country, the domestic news agencies are said to be largely ignoring the mass demonstrations and even, some say, the killing of Turkish human rights activist.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that one of the demonstrators who reported serious injuries in recent clashes, Ethem Sarisuluk, who was being treated for a gunshot to the head, is brain dead. Some online reports suggest that Sarisuluk is not just brain dead, but has passed away altogether.

The information was suggested by the secretary general of the Turkish human rights foundation (THV), Metin Bakkalci, announced. 'Doctors declared him brain dead', he said.

Aylin Nazlıaka, the deputy leader of the Republican People's Party in Turkey said that Sarisuluk, 26, was "shot by police" and "knowledge of brain death occurred while I was there [at the hospital] as well."

Human rights groups are now urging international agencies to visit Turkey to assess the ongoing situation.

“The process of inviting representatives of these international bodies has officially begun as of today,” Metin Bakkalcı, secretary-general of the THV told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, referring to the invitation letters sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association; the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression; the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights; the Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights; and the CoE’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

Bakkalci drew attention to the government response to the protests, stating, “During these attacks, thousands of people have been wounded in various parts, particularly suffering head traumas, because of extremely intense use of gas which is a ‘weapon produced from chemical agents’; of canisters and gas bombs which have been used via aiming like firearms…,”

The organisation also listed the use of pressurised water, plastic bullets and beatings as other reasons for traumatic injuries.

According to Amnesty International, five of the hundreds demonstrators who have reported injuries during the demonstrations are in critical condition and risk their lives.

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