Turkish prosecutors dismiss probe into killing of refugee at Syrian border

Turkish prosecutors have dismissed an investigation into the killing of a refugee who crossed into Turkey from the Syrian border in 2021, BirGün newspaper reported on Monday.

The victim’s family filed a criminal complaint over the case of Ridwan Îd Numan El Ehmed, who was reportedly killed after being detained by Turkish soldiers following his crossing into southeastern Mardin province from Syria's northern Hasakah province on November 27.

The prosecutor's office concluded that footage from a surveillance camera in the border region was deleted two days after the incident, for which there are no eyewitnesses, BirGün said.

The El Ehmed family’s lawyer Azad Kaya has objected to the decision, saying a witness in the case was a commander, who was also a suspect in the killing. Moreover, the prosecutor’s office refused to all an actual eyewitness in the case, all of which point to the “violation of  the principle of independence and impartiality of the investigation,” BirGün cited the lawyer as saying.

Turkish lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party Hüseyin Kaçmaz in December brought up the death of El Ehmed with parliament’s Committee on Human Rights Inquiry, but failed to receive a response.

Turkey’s is home to some 3.7 million Syrian migrants, who began arriving after the civil war began in 2011. The group has been faced with a wave of xenophobia in the country that has become bolstered by the country’s high unemployment rate and ailing economy.

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