Demonstration Against Imprisonment of Kurdish Children in Turkish Jails
DMTX. About 50 people demonstrate outside the Turkish embassy in Belgrave Square against the imprisonment and abuse of Kurdish children in Turkish Jails. London, United Kingdom, 12/03/2010.
About 50 people demonstrate outside the Turkish embassy in Belgrave Square against the imprisonment and abuse of Kurdish children in Turkish Jails. London, United Kingdom, 12/03/2010.
Berivan Sayaca is a 15 year old Kurdish girl who was recently jailed in Turkey for 8 years. The alleged reason for her imprisonment was for throwing rocks at armored Police vehicles at a demonstration.
Currently nearly 3,000 children are being held in Turkish prisons. The Diyarbakir Human Rights Association, from some research has stated that 737 children have been charged under Turkish counter-terrorism legislation. An amendment to this law in 2006 allowed Turkish courts to charge teenagers between 15 and 18 years of age as adults.
The Human rights Association Adana (IHD) suggests that Turkey has a history of targeting younger members of the population. Public punishment is common, such as physically breaking limbs, prosecution and incarceration of children for up to 20 years depending on the severity of the crime against the state.
A statement from Berivan says, “why did they use force towards me? My legs are still covered with bruises. They put this cream on my legs to cover the bruises so no one can see them. They hit me a lot when they first took me in. I don’t know why they treated me like this. I’m only 15...I never deserved this place.”
According to the European Court of Human Rights between 1959 and 2009, Turkey was the largest violator, out of the 47 signatory states, of the European Convention on Human Rights. It held 19% of violations and 2,295 judgements issued. The most common violated right was that of a right to a fair trial.
In 1995 Turkey ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to state, “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.” An 8 year sentence for Berivan, and children with similar stories and cases seems to be a huge violation of the law under Turkey’s treaty obligations.