On the 12th April 2019 Recep Hantas, a 20-year-old Kurd, was shot dead by po elice in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern city of Diyarbakır (Amed) while he was reportedly collecting waste paper in Sümer Park with one of his friends at around 4am, MA reported.
As Hantaş lay dying at the scene, police officers defended themselves describing the murder an “accident”. Diyarbakır’s Governor also issued a statement justifying the killing saying that Hantaş was shot because he “ignored the police warning”
The prosecutor finally concluded the investigation two years after the murder and presented his indictment to a court in Diyarbakır.
The prosecutor asked for a prison sentence from 18 to 25 years for Kazım B, who was initially arrested after the incident, but was released after 40 days in prison.
A report prepared by the National Crime Bureau included in the indictment both names of Ergin K. and Kazım B. as the perpetrators of the murder.
Even though this report concluded that both police officers shot the young Kurdish man, the prosecutor did not demand the arrest of the second police officer Ergin K.
As eight police officers shared their testimonies regarding the murder, all of them claimed that they did not see who it was who shot Hantaş.
Hantaş had received threats by the police before he was killed, according to Efe Hantaş, his elder brother.
“Recep told me that when some police were checking his ID card they called him a ‘terrorist’ and the police threatened him when he reacted to them. Therefore I cannot believe neither there was clash nor it was an accident that my brother was killed,” brother told MA.
Pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) Ayşe Acar Başaran also stated that the police were harrassing the Hantaş family for a while in order to convince Hantaş to work as an informant for the state.
“The police slaughtered a young man that they could not pressurise to become an informat before the eyes of the people. This murder, arbitrarly perpetrated by law enforcement, is not the first in the region,” she said.