Posted by: hevallo | June 21, 2010

Amnesty International Publish Report on Jailing of Kurdish Children in Turkish Jails.


TURKEY MUST STOP UNFAIR PROSECUTIONS OF CHILDREN UNDER ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS

Despite many accounts of excessive use of force, no police officer has been punished
17 June 2010

No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 37(a)

Amnesty International has called on the Turkish authorities to end the flawed prosecutions of children as young as 12 under draconian anti-terrorism legislation.

In a report published today, Turkey: All children have rights: End unfair prosecutions of children under anti-terrorism legislation, the organization focuses on the systematic violations of the rights of the children committed during their arrest, detention and trial.

Thousands of children in Turkey, some as young as 12, have been prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation, solely for their alleged participation in demonstrations considered by the government to be in support of terrorism. The demonstrations are focused on issues of concern to members of the Kurdish community, and often involve clashes with the police.

The report gives the children’s first-hand accounts of being ill-treated on arrest and while being held in police custody. Despite widespread accounts of excessive use of force and other ill-treatment, no police officer has been brought to justice.

In many cases legal protections for children in pre-charge detention were not followed.

“Children accused of participation in demonstrations are detained in adult police custody in the Anti-Terror branch rather than the Children’s branch of police stations. There, they are often subjected to unofficial interrogation in the absence of lawyers or social workers. Records of these statements are often later used as evidence in the children’s prosecutions,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s expert on Turkey.

A child told Amnesty International how he was detained by police at the scene of a demonstration in Diyarbakir:

“A police officer caught me by the arm and beat me with a baton. I tried to escape but another officer caught me and beat me too. After that four or five officers beat me with batons and punched and kicked me.”

Once charged, children are frequently remanded in custody for months before the trial verdict. During this period, children are held under the same conditions as adults and no provision is made for them to continue their education.

Prosecutions are often based on insubstantive evidence or statements taken from the children under pressure. Children as young as 12 have been tried in adult courts in violation of law. Most cases end in convictions with prison sentences, some for many years.

The anti-terrorism legislation that the children are prosecuted under is vague and overly broad in its wording and unfair in its application by judges and prosecutors. Long due amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Law would not alter the broad and vague definition of terrorist crimes under which children are prosecuted.

“The Turkish authorities are obliged under international and domestic law to protect the rights of children, during their arrest, detention and trial. However, these rights are systematically violated. The arrests and prosecutions continue,” Andrew Gardner said.

“The Turkish authorities have to reform anti-terrorism legislation so that it is in line with international standards as a matter of urgency. They must also implement a series of measures to ensure that the rights of children are not violated.”
Turkey: All children have rights: End unfair prosecutions of children under anti-terrorism legislation in Turkey

Since 2006, thousands of children in Turkey, some as young as 12, have been prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation, solely for their alleged participation in demonstrations focused on issues of concern to members of the Kurdish community. Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the systematic violation of the rights of the child committed during arrest, detention and trials of these children. This report gives the children’s first-hand accounts of being ill-treated on arrest and while being held in police custody.

Find report here.

Event at School of Oriental and African Studies.

JUSTICE FOR IMPRISONED KURDISH CHILREN IN TURKEY

Talk
Ms Milena Buyum
Campaigner on Turkey for Amnesty International
Ms Fatma Unsal
Chairperson of ‘Justice for Children Initiative’

Concert
Aygul Erge, singer-song writer

Film Screening
‘Taslanan Vicdanlar/Brutal Consciences’ by Cenk Örtülü & Zeynel Koç Turkish and Kurdish with English subtitles, Running time 50 minutes.

Date and time: 24 June 2010,@ 6:00
Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Organised by Kurdish society at SOAS(KSSOAS),
Kurdish Studies and Student Organisation (KSSO) and British Peace Council

Seminar abstract and program

We are deeply concerned about the routine and systematic beating, ill-treatment and imprisonment of Kurdish children in Turkey. According to Amnesty International’s newly published report, “since 2006, thousands of children in Turkey, some as young as 12, have been prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation solely for their alleged participation in demonstrations”.

Children aged 10-18 are being detained, interrogated and tried under the same conditions as adults. As a consequence, some are sentenced and jailed for 5 to 25 years under the anti-terror law. The children are accused of participating in street protests, doing the victory sign, shouting slogans, throwing stones at the Turkish police or singing Kurdish songs.

Children have been forced to make statements in adult courts without their lawyers or social workers present. They have been imprisoned in adult prisons and were deprived of their rights to education, Moreover children have been deported to other prisons far from their families so their families have difficulties regularly visiting them.

Reports about this mistreatment of children have caused an outcry amongst Kurdish communities and the international public. Families of the children, Kurdish and Turkish civil organisations, human rights organisations and intellectuals have called on the Turkish government to release children and abandon discriminatory laws against the Kurdish ethnic minority, especially towards Kurdish children. The human rights group Justice for Children Initiative has begun a campaign to force the Turkish government to find a solution for the imprisoned children before the Turkish parliament goes on summer holiday.

Turkey is a signatory to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and has a duty to protect the rights of all children. Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child bans discrimination against children. It states that “Within the jurisdictions and authorities bestowed upon them, Signatory States of this convention recognise and guarantee the rights defined in this Convention to all children without any discrimination based on the children’s, their parents’ or guardians’ race, colour, gender, language, political or otherwise opinions, national, ethnic or social background, property, disability, birthright or any other status.”

We have invited Ms Milena Buyum, campaigner on Turkey for Amnesty International
to talk about Amnesty International research and report on imprisoned Kurdish children. Ms Fatma Unsal, Chairperson of ‘Justice for Children Initiative’ (ÇİAÇ) will talk about ‘Justice for Children Initiative’ newly announced campaign to force the Turkish government to stop these policies towards Kurdish children.
Aygul Erge, singer-song writer who has composed a song titled “Dayê Min Bifiltîne/ My mum rescue me” on imprisoned Kurdish children will sing before starting the seminar.

We will screen the film ‘Taslanan Vicdanlar/Brutal Consciences’ by Cenk Örtülü & Zeynel Koç (running time 50 minutes). The film focuses on imprisoned Kurdish children who are subjected to the Turkish state’s physical and psychological violence.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: