Prosecutor in Berkin Elvan case taken hostage

The prosecutor in the case of Berkin Elvan, a teenager killed after hit by a gas canister fired by the police during Gezi protests of the summer of 2013, has been taken hostage by an outlawed leftist group.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz is being kept in his office at the İstanbul Courthouse, according to a statement from the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKC) which was published on a website known called Halkın Sesi.

The statement said the prosecutor will be “punished by death” if demands are not met by 3:36 p.m.

Some Twitter accounts have written that gunshots were heard at the İstanbul Courthouse while Special Forces were dispatched to the courthouse.

There has been no official statement on the incident yet.

A subsequent statement published on the same website published a photo of prosecutor Kiraz with a gun pointed to his head. It said the DHKC wants the police officers “who murdered Berkin Elvan to confess to their crimes during live broadcast” and be tried in “people’s courts” and charges be dropped against everyone who have been prosecuted for participating in protests over Elvan’s death in return for the release of the prosecutor.

DHKC also wants a delegation to maintain communication between the gunmen and authorities.


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