Turkish authorities rebuff UN inquiry into murder of Syrian-American journalist
Turkish authorities have rebuffed a request from the United Nations for more information on the murders of Syrian-American journalist Halla Barakat and her mother, Orouba Barakat.
In a letter dated Oct. 7, published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard sought clarity on the depth of the investigation into the brutal 2017 killings, calling it a matter of “international concern.”
“The political nature of the Barakats’ work, and the death threats they received, make it imperative that a possible politically-motivated killing be considered and investigated and the evidence for and against that conclusion shared with the family and the public,” Callamard wrote. “Such an investigation would make it more likely that all culpable parties are identified.”
In response, Turkish officials defended their actions, declined to provide any further information and reasserted the “complete conscientious opinion” that the murders were committed over “family issues.”
“As in all cases, the investigation and prosecution of the present case was carried out by Turkish authorities with utmost diligence,” Turkish officials wrote on Dec. 2. “As the hearings were held openly, the Government is of the view that due transparency was provided in the process.”