It has been three and a half years since Hürmüz Diril and his wife Şimuni went missing in January 2020. The lifeless body of Şimuni Diril was discovered 70 days after their disappearance near the Hezil (Hizil) Stream, but the fate of Hürmüz Diril remains uncertain.
No significant progress has been made in the investigation into the case of the couple, who were members of the Chaldean Catholic community. Their children emphasise that they will not give up their fight for justice until it has been achieved.
The Dirils had returned to Kovankaya village, known as Meer in the Syriac language, which is located in the Beytüşşebap (Elkî) district of Şırnak (Şırnex), and which had been evacuated several times by Turkey in 2011.
After Şimuni’s body was found, her children said that it showed signs of torture and mutilation.
Due to a confidentiality order initiated by the Beytüşşebap Public Prosecutor’s Office, no information about the progress of the investigation could be obtained for more than a year and a half.
Meanwhile, MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) raised the issue in parliament, urging for an effective search to find Hürmüz Diril and for the perpetrators of Şimuni’s murder to be identified.
The children and relatives of the Diril couple have launched campaigns on social media demanding justice.
Within the scope of the ongoing investigation, Apro Diril, a relative of the family, has been arrested multiple times and subsequently released. He was released on house arrest during the last hearing, but then re-arrested in February following objections by lawyers.
The family’s lawyer has stated that the court panel has not conducted a comprehensive investigation, and the requested Historical Traffic Search (HTS) records have not been provided. They allege that significant evidence has been tampered with since the investigation process began.
On the third anniversary of the couple’s disappearance, thirty-two Syriac and Chaldean organisations, including organisations from France, Belgium, the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Iraq, sent a letter to Turkey calling for a “serious and effective” investigation into Hürmüz’s case and an inquiry into the procedural flaws outlined in the Forensic Medicine Institute’s report regarding the remains of Şimuni.
In addition, the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, a Syriac-based Christian civil society organisation, released a video in 12 languages, urging for the discovery of Hürmüz and for justice for Şimuni.