Resolution accepted at the 12th EGP Council, Barcelona, Spain, March 19-21, 2010
Turkey is contravening international human rights standards, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Law, not to mention its own domestic law.
Thousands of children face prosecution for allegedly taking part in protests against the authorities in Turkey. Alarmingly, the number of prosecutions has increased since 2008, and reached to 4,000 as of February 2010. Many of the demonstrations took place in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakır and the southern province of Adana. As of February 2010, children are taken under custody and prosecuted in 32 cities out of 81.
In the year of 2009 alone and in Diyarbakır province only, 267 children were prosecuted and sentenced to several hundred years of imprisonment. Protests focused on issues of concern to members of the Kurdish community, including the alleged denial of their cultural rights, the banning of pro-Kurdish party (DTP) and the prosecution of the people, involving mayors, allegedly linked to the civil urban arm of PKK called KCK.
During the protests, demonstrators clashed with police and some threw stones and Molotov cocktails. Reports of police ill-treatment during and after the protests were widespread. However, such allegations are rarely investigated and no police officers have been prosecuted.
Many children who were arrested during the protests – some of them 13 and 14 years old - are initially held in adult police custody. Once charged, they are kept for long periods of time in pre- trial detention, some alongside adult prisoners, and denied access to education. Some children are then tried according to the same trial procedures as adults. Through these practices, Turkey is contravening international human rights standards, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Law, not to mention its own domestic law.
Regarding the eventual membership of Turkey to EU, this behaviour of Turkish authorities is undermining the positive developments in talks with EU.
We, the members of parties forming European Green Party, therefore
1. Urge the Turkish authorities to comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EU law;
2. Call upon the European Commission, European Parliament to act.
3. More specifically, the anti-terror laws have to be amended accordingly and urgently so that no children below 18 would be prosecuted.
4. The prosecuted children should be rehabilitated following their release.
5. We call upon all parties to contribute to a peaceful solution of the conflict.
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