11/23/2020, 10.29
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Beaten by the police for 'dangerous material', three minors face 26 years in prison

The episode dates to February 2019 in Van, in the eastern sector of the country, but has only emerged in recent days. The boys, between 14 and 17 years old, are accused of Kurdish "propaganda for a terrorist organization". The police officers who committed the violence still go unpunished. No trace of the barracks surveillance video.

Van (AsiaNews / Agencies) – After being brutally beaten by officers while they were inside a police barracks, three minors between 14 and 17 years of age are now set to face trial, risking up to 26 years in prison if found guilty.

According to the indictment, the boys are indicted for "possession and dissemination of dangerous material, resistance to a public official in the exercise of his functions, insult, propaganda for a terrorist organization, adherence to an organization and disturbance of traffic".

The facts date back to 15 February 2019 but only emerged at the weekend, coinciding with the International Day for the Rights of the Child and Adolescent: the three minors beaten and abused by the police - Ö.S. (14 years old), Ş.Y. (16 years) and O.D. (17 years) - risk a variable sentence between 10 and 26 years in prison. On the other hand, the police officers responsible for the violence have not even been identified so far, while the investigations against them have suffered obstacles and misdirection.

The three-page indictment, filed with the Sixth Criminal Court of the court of Van, in the east of the country, contains police charges and a brief profile of two organizations considered terrorist by Ankara: the Kurdish Party of workers (PKK) and the Union of Kurdistan Communities (Kck). To justify the injuries sustained by the three young men in the barracks, the officers write that one of them "hit his head on a balcony while fleeing from the police". During the race he allegedly threw compromising material, used during street protests. Photos and videos "of propaganda of the organization", adds the complaint, "were found in their cell phones".

The first hearing in the trial against the three minors is scheduled for February 25th. At the same time, Van's lawyers' association filed a complaint against the officers responsible for the beating. However, the prosecutor has changed the charge against them five times and the investigations seem to have stalled, not to mention covered up in a climate of silence. Lawyers have repeatedly requested, always in vain, to be able to obtain the images of the surveillance cameras inside the police station.

The International Day for the Rights of Children and Adolescents was celebrated on 20 November. On this very day, in 1959, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, then revised on the same day in 1989 as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A document that is more relevant than ever, given that in the world every year one billion minors between the ages of two and 17 are victims of physical, sexual or psychological violence; 12 million girls marry before the age of 18 with often much older men; 85 million children and young people are exploited in the context of child labor.

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