Ambiguity over the Death of a Police Officer of Kirkuk

February 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

There is uncertainty over the death of a police officer of Kirkuk after remaining in detention for several weeks, and his family is skeptical about his death. According to the initial investigations, the police have proven that he committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell.

Azad Ali Muhammed was a police officer of Kirkuk and was arrested some time ago by the police on charges of killing another person. After staying for two months in detention in the Aruba police station in Kirkuk, his family received the news of his death on January 5th.

The director of the Aruba police station, Colonel Naushirwan Ramadan told KirkukNow, “The prisoner committed suicide at 8:00 am on January 5th”, but he did not disclose any other details about the incident.

Azad was married and had two children. According to the statements of the security forces, Azad left a message for his wife before committing suicide, and admitted the murder of the person for which he had been detained.

In his letter, which KirkukNow has received a copy of, he wrote in Persian, “This is the last night of my life, Mahabat (his wife) I know reading this letter is hard, I pray that God gives you strength to live and raise our daughters Awen and Solin …” According to the claim of the police forces, the letter was written by Azad before his suicide.

His family members and friends who spoke to KirkukNow are skeptical about his suicide, especially about the message he left in Persian. They say that Azad studied the Persian language until the fifth grade, and he could not have written that message in the Persian language in that manner.

Security forces: We cannot come to any conclusions about anything before the investigation is completed

Abbas Rashid is the father-in-law of Azad and told KirukNow that, “We want to know the reason why the security directorate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) did not investigate him for themselves about being accused of murdering a young man, and why did they not sent him to the military court?”

His father-in-law also stated that Azad was held in detention for ten days in the police station where he worked. But then the police demanded his extradition to the Aruba police station where he remained in detention for several months.

Farhad Hama Ali, the spokesman of the security directorate of Kirkuk, told KirkukNow that they were told by the anti-crime police in Kirkuk that one of their members was required to be detained in accordance with Article 406 of the Penal Code for the murder of a person, so they handed him over to the police.

He also said that, “We are not the entity authorized to refer people to the courts whenever we want to, but we even hand terror suspects over to the police.”

He said, “After we knew about the suicide of the police officer of Kirkuk, we formed a joint committee with the security forces to investigate how this incident happened. We cannot come to any conclusions about anything before the investigation is completed.”

Azad was accused for killing one of his friends, and he was charged by the police of Kirkuk. The security forces said that in the beginning of the investigation, he committed the crime and killed his friend. The investigation is still ongoing.

Police investigations are continuing to uncover the circumstances of the incident

According to what reported by his family members, they said that they were not allowed to visit Azad in prison. They said that they tried several times to see him, but due to the lack of completing the investigation, they were not allowed to visit him.

Azad’s father-in-law said that, “Azad used to call me from time to time and ask about his daughters (Solin and Awen). On Sunday January 4th, Azad called me and said he was doing fine.”

He also said, “We are questioning his death because according to the information available to us, Azad was in jail with 40 prisoners in the same cell, so how he was able to hang himself in the presence of forty people?”

The security forces have stated that Azad committed suicide by hanging in his cell using his clothes, but his family members say that there were traces of a rope around his neck. They have sent a sample of his body for examinations to Baghdad, and the investigations would take one month.

Colonel Afrasiaw Kamil Wais, the spokesman of the police of Kirkuk told KirkukNow that, “A committee of the department’s internal affairs has been formed, and another committee by the directorate is also investigating the incident and that the investigations started in the early morning of the incident into the late hours, but we have not yet reached any conclusions.”

He added that, “Police investigations are continuing to uncover the circumstances of the incident to find out whether the prisoner committed suicide or if he was murdered.”

Colonel Afrasiaw Kamil Wais revealed that, “Azad’s family members were unable to visit their son because he was charged with murder and he was under investigation.”



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