The family of a Kurdish prisoner voiced their suspicions about Turkish authorities’ claims that their son died of suicide, Mezopotamya News reported on Saturday.
Barış Keve, who was in prison over charges of membership to a terrorist organization, lost his life on 18 September after he was transferred five days previously from a prison in Edirne in northwest Turkey to a prison in Malatya in east Turkey.
The authorities said Keve had killed himself and declined to give his family the autopsy report of the prisoner, who was kept in a solitary cell, Mezopotamya said.
Keve was first arrested in 2017, after a peace process between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed in 2015. He was sentenced to six years and three months in prison over several charges that included insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but was released three and a half months later on bail. Keve was arrested once again this year in June in Edirne as he was trying to leave Turkey.
Keve, who died under suspicious circumstances according to his family, was buried in his hometown of Kurdish-majority Van in east Turkey.
“He had talked to his wife on September 16,” father Bahattin Keve told Mezopotamya about the last days of his son. “He told them that he had run out of money and asked them to send him shoes. He told them that he was in a very good condition and that he did not have any problems,” the father added.
The father also said that as a family they had wanted to contribute to peace efforts in Turkey, adding that his son became actively involved in political activities for that end.
“My sons and I worked during the peace process so that the same miseries would not be repeated, but after the peace process was ended by the government, several lawsuits were filed against my son Barış Keve,” he said.
“My son stayed three months in the prison in Edirne, why did he not commit suicide there but killed himself on the fifth day he was brought to Malatya and put in a solitary cell,” said Bahattin Keve. “I think my son was killed in an organized and planned way,” he added.