Former BBC Journalist Found Hanged In Istanbul Airport

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Jacky Sutton's boss shocked by 'very murky' airport toilet death and dismisses missed flight fears

Friends have raised concern about the circumstances surrounding the death of British journalist and scholar Jacky Sutton who was found hanged in a toilet cubicle in Istanbul.

They call for an investigation expressing disbelief about reports that former BBC producer appeared to have killed herself.

Jacky’s boss, Anthony Borden, executive director of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, has spoken of his shock and described the circumstances surrounding her death as “very murky”.

50 year old Jacqueline Anne Sutton, known as Jacky, who was working as the Iraq director for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) was found dead at the airport on Saturday night.

Sutton’s death comes just five months after previous IWPR director Ammar Al Shahbander was killed in a car bomb attack in Baghdad.

It is believed that she had travelled from Heathrow to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, before reportedly failing to make her next plane to Erbil, Iraq.

ES reports:

She had worked as a producer for the BBC and held various positions over the years with humanitarian organisations and the United Nations, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Recently, Ms Sutton, who spoke five languages including basic Arabic, had been studying for a PhD at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University.

Centre director Professor Amin Saikal said people at the university are “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic death of one of its brilliant PhD students”.

Prof Saikal added: “She was not only an outstanding research scholar, but a highly valued friend and colleague who made remarkable contributions to the work and activities of the centre.”

Ms Sutton was reported to be the acting Iraq director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) at the time of her death.

Friends of Ms Sutton have questioned reports by Turkish media outlets that she killed herself after missing a connecting flight and admitting she did not have enough money to pay for another ticket.

Journalist and international development worker Rebecca Cooke called for an international investigation. She said: “Shocking and sad news about the death of Jacky Sutton in Istanbul. An international not just local investigation is needed.”

Julia Shaw called the news “unbelievable”.

She tweeted: “Jacky Sutton you will be dearly missed. Unbelievable news.”

Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the United Nations Development Programme, wrote: “Very difficult to believe that my colleague @undpiniraq staffer and seasoned traveler @JackySutton committed suicide.”

Niamh Harris
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