Family of Palestinian died in prison accuses Turkey of leaving his body completely emptied

The family of a Palestinian man, who Turkish authorities say committed suicide in his prison cell in April, said it was impossible to perform an autopsy on the body, as there had been nothing left inside the body, Al Arabiya reported on Thursday. 

The Palestinian was of two men Turkish authorities arrested on April 15 and accused of spying for the UAE. Turkish officials said they had confessed to spying on Arab nationals in Turkey. 

Turkish media said one of the men was suspected of having connections to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October.

Turkish authorities named the Palestinian, who was found hanged from the bathroom door of his cell at Silivri prison, as Zaki Y. M. Hasan, but his family said his real name was Zaki Mubarak, a political science professor, during a television programme on Al Arabiya. 

The family was skeptical that Mubarak had committed suicide and called for a full investigation into his death.

“It is impossible to dissect the body again because there is nothing left inside, the body is completely empty. Even the tongue does not exist,” Al Arabiya quoted Zakaria Mubarak, Zaki Mubarak’s brother, as saying.

The brother said family members could not recognise Zaki Mubarak, when they had received the body in Cairo.“His daughters were able to identify him through distinctive features,” Zakaria Mubarak said. 

The family has also called into question the coroner’s report from Istanbul. “The report contradicted itself. It stated that the result of death was natural but at the same time, it said that the cause of death was due to several injuries,” Zakaria Mubarak said.

The family said Mubarak’s body had been fully photographed in order to provide further evidence of torture. “They (the Turks) performed dissection throughout his body, even his tongue had been removed and replaced with cotton,” he said.