After the events that happened in Diyarbakır in 28 March 2006, most of the apprehended children had been subjected to ill-treatment and they had been arrested. After a few months with an amendment at the article 9 of the Anti-Terror Law it has been possible to judge the children aged 15 to 18 with the law of CMK 250 and at the authorized High Criminal Courts. In 2008 with an amendment at TMK it has been rejected to convert the punishment of the children to the pecuniary penalty, thus it has been possible to punish the children by sentenced them from 23 to 40 years and it has turned into a target. Finally, with “sentence to 25 years for throwing a stone” of the General Assembly of the Penal Court of Appeal, all the county courts have started to implement that in a sharpest way; and this implementation has started to include all the children who has made victory sign, waved their hands to the police, shouted slogans, thrown stones to the police or turned around the scene due to they have wondered the events. The judicial beliefs of all the society have been tarnished by these punishments and this has disturbed the conscience of families, the lawyers who advocate children, human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations whose actions are focused on children, bars, intellectuals and newspaper columnists. Thanks to this solidarity an initiative named as Judicial Initiative for Children has been formed in Diyarbakır, a website (www.cocuklaraadalet.com) has been opened. The website that has caught attention in Turkey and abroad has the signatures of 2.500 well-known intellectuals.
Against the children who had conflict with the law in social events are wanted to be sentenced with
TCK 220, TCK 314/2, TMK 7/2 and the law numbered 2911. In many cases for the throwing stones had damaged the public property the punishments had been doubled according to the article of 152/1-a of TCK.
According to the article 37/b of UN Convention on the Rights of Child “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”. Despite the article 4/1-i of the Law for Prevention of the Child which stresses “The restrictive measures on freedom of children and imprisonment shall be used only as a measure of last resort”, it is thought-provoking that in this country particularly the Kurdish children can’t benefit from these acts.
Although the aim of these arrangements is to provide the freedom of children via criminal procedure, we really wonder that from the police who arrest the children till the prosecutor who takes their testimony, the adjudicator who judge them, why all of them try to imprison the children as soon as it is possible and wanted them to get the highest punishments. In our country, the Kurdish problem is wanted to be solved in an undemocratic and unlawful methods by making pressure on society. The society and the Kurdish wanted to be punished over children. That is just an illogical attitude.
We demand the children to be released and the change of article 9 and 13 of TMK. They must give up to judge children with article TCK 220/6 because of throwing stones; YCGK judgement which led to the children to be punished must be review for not complying with ECHR, UN Convention on the Rights of Child, Constitution, Law for Prevention of the Child and fundamental laws of human rights. They must abandone this implementation that disturbe the society’s conscience deeply and give our children’ freedom back.
JUDICIAL INITIATIVE FOR CHILDREN
(Families, Bar of Ankara, The Children are Under the Same Roof Association, The Department of Child Studies, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality-The Child Branch Office, Bar of Diyarbakır, Eğitim –Sen (The Union of Education), Agenda Child Association, Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism Initiative, Human Rights Association, The Group of İstanbul Children Rights Activists, Mazlum-Der, Öz-Ge-Der, Head Office of Social Service Experts Association, The Institution of Trauma Studies, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, The Association of the Families of the Apprehended and the Imprisoned, Turkish Medical Association, It is Time Initiative)