by admin on 30/04/10 at 10:13 pm
A recent demonstration in Mersin, Turkey led to the arrest of and 5-year prison sentence of 15 minors. The minors were arrested for throwing stones at police officers during a demonstration against the imprisonment of Abdullah “calan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers” Party (PKK).
They were prosecuted for “making propaganda of a terrorist organization and committing crime on behalf of a terrorist organization.” The prosecutor had demanded five to eight years for each minor.
After the hearing, parents protested the decision and their attorney, Vedat “zkan, said while certain legal regulations were considered on this issue, the verdict is clearly against law and justice.
“These kids, who have nothing to do with the terrorist organization, were rendered to be so,” said Ozkan. “We will appeal, most certainly. If our petition to appeal is rejected we are determined to go to the European Court of Human Rights.”
The PKK aims to overcome the oppression suffered by Turkey’s Kurdish minority and is therefore listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and many other countries worldwide.
Meanwhile, in response to the opposition’s proposal for a general amnesty for imprisoned minors, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has said it is now working to reduce the length of their sentences.
On the 90th anniversary of Children’s Day, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Devlet Bah”eli proposed a pardon for all children in prison. The proposal, however, was dismissed in Parliament on Wednesday. The AKP opposed the proposal, arguing that such a change could pave the way for a “general pardoning” for all imprisoned.
Instead, a new set of measures, including shortening minors” sentences, was highlighted at the Parliament’s Judicial Committee where the proposal was discussed.
The AKP is preparing to work on amendments related to children involved in alleged terror crimes. They plan to lower the prison sentence for those who attend demonstrations, from one year and six months to one year. Those who attend demonstrations with emblems of alleged terror organizations or fight with security forces would be punished with a two-year jail sentence instead of the current five years. The AKP also plans to reduce the duration of stay in prison for children who stand accused of terror-related crimes. Children who have served two-thirds of their sentence of imprisonment will be released conditionally, according to the anticipated amendments.