May 16, 2019
Turkey Returns Body of Accused Spy, Family Says He Was Tortured

By Luis Arellano

The family of a Palestinian man accused of espionage by Turkey was tortured before his death according to his family.

The family of Zaki Mubarak received his body this week after Turkish authorities announced he committed suicide while in jail last month (as previously reported by this newswire).

“It is impossible to perform a second autopsy on the body because there is nothing left inside, the body is empty. Even the tongue does not exist,” said Zakaria Mubarak, Zaki Mubarak’s brother in an interview with Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab news channel.

“The Turkish authorities want to hide the truth,” Mubarak said. While Turkish prison authorities say, Zaki Mubarak committed suicide that claim is inconsistent with the wounds on his body according to his family who believe he was tortured.

Zaki’s family accuse of Turkey of delaying the return of the body to give it more time to decay (and thus hide potential signs of torture). Under most interpretations of Islamic law, Muslims are supposed to be quickly buried after their death in a simple white shroud.

Turkish authorities say this was necessary for their investigation into the mater. Turkish authorities who concluded their investigation (published in three languages) found no sign of foul.

Zaki Mubarak fled his native Gaza after it was taken over by Hamas, an Islamist movement that was until recently an official chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The United States and other governments around the world recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization. Mubarak lived in Bulgaria briefly before settling in Turkey.

Turkish authorities accused Zaki Mubarak and another man, Samer Shaban, of spying in Turkey on behalf of the UAE and Fethullah Gulen – a Muslim cleric who lives in the United States who Turkish President Recip Erdogan considers a political enemy.

Shaban remains in Turkish custody. A retired Palestinian police officer and former resident of the UAE who, according to his family, travelled to his Turkey with his family as the first step toward immigration to Europe.

The fate of the two men has angered many Palestinians who have come to see the administration of President Recip Erdogan as a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

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