Statement on the Death of Jacqueline Sutton

Issued by the family of Jacqueline Sutton and the Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

Statement on the Death of Jacqueline Sutton

Issued by the family of Jacqueline Sutton and the Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

Jacky Sutton. (Photo: Hassan al-Ghezzi)
Jacky Sutton. (Photo: Hassan al-Ghezzi)
Wednesday, 21 October, 2015

At the request of the family of Jacqueline Sutton, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and the family release the following joint statement:

Jacqueline (Jacky) Sutton, IWPR’s acting Iraq country director, was found dead at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport overnight on October 17-18. She had flown from London to take an onward flight to her base in Erbil in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

Based on an extensive review of the information provided by Turkish authorities, the family of Jacky Sutton and IWPR have reached the preliminary conclusion that no other parties were involved in her death.

“The family is satisfied with the investigation undertaken by the Turkish authorities,” said Jenny Sutton, Jacky’s sister. “We were deeply sceptical about initial reports. But based on the evidence we have seen, at this stage we believe that Jacky acted alone.”

The Turkish authorities have cooperated fully and provided access to the complete dossier of evidence relating to the case, including copies of the CCTV images and all documentation.

There remains the possibility that additional information will come to light.

IWPR and the family will be seeking a further assessment from an independent investigative expert in order to confirm the findings once the Turkish investigation is complete.

Although investigation is still ongoing, in order to avoid further distress to family members and friends of Jacky, and given the widespread speculation about the circumstances of her death, we therefore state the following:

  • Comprehensive CCTV footage with no apparent time gaps, still photographs, witness statements, a viewing of the body by her sister, and a site visit by IWPR and the family all indicate that Jacky was alone and that there was no sign of struggle.
  • Jacky had two credit cards and a large amount of cash with her, and there was no indication of theft or of any missing belongings.
  •  There is no evidence that any item or material was involved in the incident other than items already in her possession.

A further statement will be made when we are in a position to do so.

In the meantime, we would ask that the privacy of Jacky’s family be respected.

For further information, please contact IWPR Executive Director Anthony Borden at or contact our London office on (+44) (0) 207 831 1030. 


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