No justice in Cizre massacre, six years on

No justice in Cizre massacre, six years on

  • Date: September 7, 2021
  • Categories:Rights
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No justice in Cizre massacre, six years on

There has been no progress in the cases of those who died during the first nine-day curfew announced in Cizre. Lawyer Hüseyin Tül said not a single suspect has been identified in six years due to the lack of an effective investigation.

Two hundred and eighty-eight people were killed during the curfews declared on 14 December 2015, which ran until 2 March 2016, in the Cizre (Cızir) district of Şırnak (Şirnex) in Turkey. Dozens of apartments, school buildings, and parks were destroyed in attacks by the Turkish army. Six years have passed since 177 people were killed while taking shelter in the basements of buildings under fire.

However no justice has yet been achieved for the victims. The cases of 21 people who died in the curfews announced from 4-12 September in Cizre are pending with decisions either of “lack of jurisdiction” or of “permanent search warrant”.

Some of the cases with lack of jurisdiction decisions of have been appealed at the Constitutional Court, and of the 21 cases, inquiries are continuing into only one. Not a single person has been tried in six years.

Decisions of lack of jurisdiction were pronounced in the cases of victims Gatban Bülbül (65), Mehmet Emin Levent (26), Mehmet Sait Naycı (16), Osman Çağlı (18), Özgür Taşkın (18), Şahin Açık (74), Hacı Ata Borçin (70) and Mohamed Tahir Yaramış (35 days) who died in Cizre during the curfews. The lawyers have taken these cases to the Constitutional Court.

For the cases of the other victims, Bünyamin İrci (14), Cemile Çağırga (10), Eşref Erdin (60), Maşallah Edin (35), Mehmet Dökmen (70), Mehmet Erdoğan (75), Meryem Süne (45), Selman Ağar (10), Zeynep Taşkın (18) decisions of “permanent search warrant” were issued. There is no information in the cases of Ibrahim Çiçek, Bahattin Sevinik and Suphi Sarak. The investigation into the case against Mehmet Sait Çağdavul continues.

One of the lawyers acting in the cases, Hüseyin Tül, evaluated the six-year legal process for the Mesopotamia News Agency (MA).

Tül stressed that there is no effective investigation due to the political approach of the state in such cases. He noted that not a single suspect has been charged in the time that has passed and that an effective investigation has not been carried out to identify the suspects.

Emphasising that the prosecution considered the people who lost their lives to be suspicious persons, he added:

“In many cases, ‘lack of jurisdiction’ decisions were issued with no clear evidence against the people who died. They assume the people who lost their lives were ‘members of the organisation’ and therefore killed in conflict. This justification is unacceptable. The victim is presumed dead during clashes with security forces. As lawyers we have filed objections to this, but unfortunately our objections have also been rejected.”

Tül said that they had submitted individual applications to the Constitutional Court after the rejection of the objections, and noted that the Constitutional Court process is ongoing, but he added that there has been no progress.

“These files have been waiting at the Constitutional Court for years. Decisions should be made as soon as possible. It is vital that evidence is quickly identified in such cases. As a matter of fact, as time goes on, available evidence gets eliminated. Therefore, it is very important that the decision is made as soon as possible and that an effective investigation is carried out.” he said.

Tül also added that they will take the cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

“We will take the files to the ECtHR if we do not achieve justice within Turkey” he says.