Turkey’s Diyarbakr Bar Association Makes Formal Complaint After Authorites Arrest & Fingerprint 5 Year Olds For Wearing Traditional Kurdish Wear

The Diyarbak?r Bar Association has released a statement about the detention of two 5-year-old children during the Diyarbak?r Newroz.

According to the statement of the Diyarbak?r Bar and its Child Rights Center, the children had been detained on the grounds of their traditional Kurdish wear. The Bar has filed a criminal complaint against the law enforcement officers and the prosecutor of the investigation.

Traditional clothes cited as the reason

In its statement, the Diyarbak?r Bar Association has recalled that several people were prevented from entering the site of Newroz celebrations in Diyarbak?r’s Bismil on March 19 on the grounds of their traditional clothes; they were caught and detained without a criminal suspicion.

The statement has recounted the incident as follows:

“5-year-old twins A.B. and E.B., wearing traditional clothes, wanted to go to the site to celebrate the Newroz with their mother Zeynep B.

“They were prevented from entering the site on the grounds of the traditional clothes and the kesk ü soru zer (yellow-red-green in Kurdish) in their clothes, they stripped of their clothes, they were caught and taken to the security directorate with their mother Zeynep B.”

Referring to the Article 19 of the Regulation on Catching, Detaining and Interrogating, the Diyarbak?r Bar has recalled that children younger than 12 shall not be detained due to a crime or found guilty of a crime. Accordingly, the Bar has underlined that the catching and detention of the 5-year-old siblings violated their right to personal liberty and security.

It has further underlined that “the acts of catching and detaining without any crime or suspicion and the stripping of the children of their traditional clothes violated the prohibition of torture and ill treatment, right to peaceful assembly and demonstration and the right liberty and security”.

The statement has stressed that “the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens were violated as the citizens who came to the site to celebrate the Newroz were faced with the hindrance of the law enforcement officers, they were subjected to unlawful and disproportionate intervention, they were caught and fingerprinted without any crime or suspicion and the children were stripped of their traditional clothes by force”.

Criminal complaint

Accordingly, the Diyarbak?r Bar and the Child Rights Center have announced that “they have filed a criminal complaint and applications of complaint against the law enforcement officers and the prosecutor of the investigation, demanding their penalization on charges of ‘torment’ as per the Article 94 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), ‘deprivation of liberty’ as per the Article 109 of the TCK and the Article 257 of the TCK.

‘Children were fingerprinted’

In the petition of the Diyarbak?r Bar Association, it has been indicated that “during the act of catching the two children in the absence of a crime, suspicion or an element of necessity, the children were fingerprinted without the conditions indicated in the legal regulations”.

Accordingly, the Bar has said that “due to the unlawful fingerprinting act, the police officers who acted contrary to the requirements of their duty should be put on trial on charges of ‘misconduct in office’ and ‘torment’ over the arbitrary and unlawful treatment of the children”.

Father: They met the police station at 5

Speaking to Mezopotamya Agency (MA), father Nedim B. said that their local outfit that they have been wearing for years in their daily lives was “banned” in a day. Noting that “they were faced with this ban without any decision”, he said, “It is not a legal practice. The twins were taken into custody in an arbitrary act. Their clothes were taken off in that cold weather”.

Saying that they were taken to the police station afterwards, he added, “They met the police station at the age of 5. They showed us no legal decisions in doing this. The detention happened illegally. I call on everyone to be sensitive in the face of what my children were made to go through”. (AÖ/SD)

Source: https://m.bianet.org/english/human-rights/259690-bar-association-two-5-year-olds-taken-into-custody-at-diyarbakir-newroz