The United Nations' top human rights official called on Turkish authorities on Feb. 1 to investigate the shooting of a committee of civilians on Jan. 20 in the Cizre district of southeastern Şırnak province.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein was referring to an incident in which 10 people were wounded in the district on Jan. 20, when a committee, including two opposition politicians, came under fire while rescuing people hurt in clashes.
Zeid said “extremely shocking” footage filmed of the incident showed what appeared to be a man and woman holding white flags and pushing a cart - possibly carrying bodies - across a street while being watched by an armored military vehicle.
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said the committee was subjected to gunfire and new casualties, including Refik Tekin, an award-winning journalist working at private broadcaster İMC, from gunfire purportedly shot by security forces.
“As they reach the other side, they are apparently cut down in a hail of gunfire,” Zeid said in a statement, also expressing concern for Tekin.
Demirtaş said on Jan. 21 that a committee of 15 civilians, including HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız, took refuge in a building's basement in Cizre after they went to the town to care for civilian casualties.
Upon Demirtaş's remarks, several administrative figures and deputies from the HDP asked Turkish Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and the Interior Ministry to take action on the casualties.