Turkey suspends 19 prison employees over activist's torture, death
Nineteen prison employees in Turkey were suspended Tuesday on suspicion of taking part or being an accomplice in the torture and murder of leftist activist Engin Ceber in Istanbul last week, the Anadolu news agency reported. The list of those suspended included a number of senior officials at Istanbul's Metris Prison, as well as the prison doctor who had written a report on Ceber's health without ever seeing the prisoner, reported Worldbulletin. According to Turkish media reports, Ceber was arrested last month during a protest against the police shooting of another leftist activist. He was allegedly first tortured at a police station in Istinye and then again at Metris Prison. He was transferred to a hospital on October 3 and died of brain injuries on October 10. "In the name of the state and the government I would like to say sorry to those close (to Ceber)," Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin told reporters on Tuesday announcing the suspensions. Sahin said investigations into the alleged murder would be thorough. The relatively quick action from the government in announcing the suspensions comes after severe criticism from the opposition and human rights groups that the government was failing to implement its own policy of "zero tolerance" to torture.