DİHA - Dicle News Agency


Witnesses: Police tortured Rojhat Özdel for an hour!

8 December
10:35 2014

HAKKARİ (DİHA) - Details are coming out regarding the murder of Rojhat Özdel (18) in Hakkari's Yüksekova district yesterday as police staged a crackdown on demonstrators marking the anniversary of the murder of M. Reşit İşbilir, Veysel İşbilir and Bemal Tokçu who had been killed by police in the wake of the demolition of a guerrillas cemetery on 6-7 December 2013.

It has been revealed that DBP (Party of Democratic Regions, formerly BDP) Youth Assembly member Rojhat Özdel was tortured by police and held at the scene for an hour after sustaining a critical injury as he was targeted during yesterday's protest. Witnesses speaking to Dicle News Agency (DIHA) stated that Özdel had been executed by police.

According to the witnesses, who want to remain anonymous for security reasons, police started to open fire on demonstrators without any warning as they arrived the scene in armored vehicles after protests began on the Silk Road. Witnesses said Rojhat and a friend of his threw stone at police from the roof of a workplace in the area, and that they saw Rojhat with a molotov cocktail in his hand but not an arm as has been alleged by the Governor's Office of Hakkari.

They said police first fired tear gas and rubber bullets on demonstrators in the area of the workplace before raiding bullets on Rojhat with a M16 rifle as he run away on a dead end street. Putting forward an attention-grabbing detail about the execution which took place between two houses on a dead end street, witnesses said police had also tortured Rojhat Özdel and threatened to kill some other demonstrators, aiming their rifle also at them.

An eyewitness who watched the incident from his house told that; "Police swooped down on the youth, swore at him and forced him to answer their questions "Who was the boy near him" and whether he was "his brother". They held him there for an hour during which we heard him groan with pain, and even the moment he died. The chief of police who arrived the scene later asked police officers if they had fired on him or not. The police told him that they had shot him following a warning fire in response to his attack. However, we are witness to all what happened there, there were no clashes nor a warning fire."

In the meantime, it has been reported that the body of Özdel which was hustily delivered to the Forensic Medicine Institution in Malatya for an autopsy is now being taken back to the district where he will reportedly be laid to rest at the Akalın (Bajêrge) Village Cemetery in the afternoon.

It has been learned that Rojhat Özdel who was taking part in works of the DBP Youth Assembly had been arrested and sent to Hakkari Closed Prison on the grounds of taking part in a march in 2012, released one week later upon an objection, and that his trial is still continuing. His father Mustafa Özdel is reportedly being held at Şırnak T Type Closed Prison, having received 14 years prison sentence.