The niece of Zaki Mubarak, a Palestinian who died in Turkish custody after being arrested on alleged espionage charges, was stabbed by unknown assailants near the family’s home in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. The family told Al Arabiya they fear the attack came in retaliation to their recent attempts to uncover the truth of what happened to their relative in Istanbul.
Zaki’s brother, Zakaria Mubarak, told Al Arabiya that the attackers muffled and tied up his daughter, and stabbed her in various parts of her body.
He added that they injected her with an unknown substance and left her in a park near their home after they had video recorded the incident.
Zakaria Mubarak also said that the perpetrators told his daughter that they would kill all of her family members. He said that after they assaulted his daughter, a person speaking in a Palestinian dialect told her she would “live, not die.” The assailant added, “tell your father that we will kill you all if he doesn’t stop.”
Zakaria Mubarak told Al Arabiya he believes the assault on his daughter was a message to scare him into stopping his campaign to uncover the truth regarding his brother’s death. He has been leading the family’s efforts to uncover what happened to Zaki, vowing to file a lawsuit against the Turkish government to international courts in order to prove what he says is their involvement in the torture and murder of his brother.
Zakaria Mubarak maintains that the story provided by the Turkish authorities, which claims that his brother committed suicide while in prison, is a fabricated cover-up.
He revealed that his daughter is now at the hospital in critical condition, adding that doctors are conducting blood tests to identify the type of substance she was injected with, fearing it may be toxic.
According to Zakaria Mubarak, his daughter is suffering from a broken neck, as well as scattered stab wounds across her body.
The body of Zaki Mubarak was buried in his hometown Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Friday.
The deceased, who was arrested on alleged espionage charges, was moved from the Egyptian capital, Cairo after forensic experts completed an autopsy demanded by the family who insists that his body showed signs of torture.
Zaki Mubarak’s body arrived in Cairo from Turkey on May 16, along with a medical report from the Turkish authorities written in Turkish, English, and Arabic, according to Sharif Sudqi, Mubarak’s lawyer. Turkey alleges that Mubarak committed suicide in prison.
“All three reports do not have a death certificate, but include records of injuries and bruises,” Sudqi told Al Arabiya.