The GUE/NGL Group at the European Parliament recently published a damning report about the recent news that child prisoners held at Ponzanti Prison in Andan, Turkey have been subjected to sexual, physical and mental abuse. You can view the full report here, and below, we reproduce a statement by Jurgen Klute MEP responding to new allegations that the abuse of the same children has been continuing since there transfer to Sincan Prison in Ankara.
On new information concerning the situation of jailed Kurdish children in Sincan prison (Ankara)
Jürgen KLUTE German Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group
Coordinator of the European Parliament – Kurds Friendship Group
Brussels, 21st of March, 2012
I received new, disturbing information regarding the situation of the Kurdish children who have been recently transferred from Pozanti Juvenile Prison (in Adana) to Sincan Prison (in Ankara). According to this new information, the children are still being subjected to mistreatment, harassment and violations of their fundamental rights. On 17th of March, members of pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Law Commission met six of those children in Sincan Prison. The children told BDP members that they were again subjected to beating, insults, harassment and mistreatment by the wardens. The children told also that they were closed in cells for two days after their arrival to Sincan Prison, and that a child inmate’s finger was broken after a clash with the wardens: he was not taken to the infirmary. The wardens of Sincan Prison threatened to put them in wards with ordinary prisoners too, which mean they will be surely abused and mistreated again. The prison’s prosecutor apparently ordered them to withdraw their criminal complaints about sexual abuse occurred in Pozanti prison. We also learnt that the children were given only one blanket and that they could not sleep because the cold at night.
As European United Left – Nordic Green Left Group (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament, we reiterate our strong condemnation and protest of the continuing inhuman and cruel treatment against Kurdish children by prison staff. We call once again on Turkish authorities and more especially on Turkish Justice Minister to immediately take all appropriate measures to prevent these outrageous events, and to provide children better conditions. It is necessary to protect them from any kind of harassment and abuse. We call Turkey to respect and fully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights, signed by that country.
I underline that these Kurdish children are jailed under the very controversial Anti-Terror Law and that they should be released immediately. We urge Turkey to deeply review the Anti-Terror Law and to bring Turkish legislation in line with international human rights standards.
I assure that we’ll continue to follow and monitor the situation of these Anti-Terror Law victim Kurdish children. I have asked to the European Commission and all the other European political institutions to take all the necessary actions vis-à-vis of Turkey in order to protect the children.