According to the Children's Agenda Association, as part of the umbrella organization of the Calling for Justice Group, the bill is opposing the children's judiciary system if it holds on to the concept that children can commit terror crimes under the Anti-Terror Law (TMY). The association summarized the bill as follows:
"With this bill, a 50 percent increase of punishments for crimes in relation with the Turkish Criminal Code as foreseen in article 5 of the TMY will expire for children. The ban of postponing a penalty as offered in article 13 will be lifted for children if the amendment will be effected. In case the sentence stays below a duration of 3 years and the conditions apply to article 51 of the TCY, it is in the judge's discretional power to decide for a postponement".
"From an optimistic point of view, these developments would enable the judge to determine the penalty for children complying with the lower limit. The judge could account extenuating circumstances in favour of the child and if the other conditions are fulfilled the court could decide for a postponement. In case the penalty handed by the judge does not conform with the lower limit, again the sentence for the child can exceed 10 years".
The Children's Agenda Association admonished that the juvenile judiciary system was not established with the aim of punishing, but with the pursuit of education. The association itemized the facts that pave the way for investigating and prosecuting children like adults and that oppose the juvenile judiciary system and the children's rights: lack of an index of crime specifically for children, lack of alternative educational applications instead of punishment, lack of infrastructure for social investigation reports prepared by independent and unbiased experts, the validity of a pretence decision in the TMY which considers children as organization members where the their actually is no organization.
Articles that victimize children
Children under charges of "terror crimes" because they participated in protest actions can still be adjudged long prison sentences because of the remaining articles regarding aggravated penalties. If the bill will be effected in the current draft, at the most optimistic estimate these children will be handed prison sentences of 6 years. The amendments suggested by the Call for Justice Group, which would be in line with the children's judiciary, were not implemented in the bill. The referring articles of the TMY go as follows:
- Article 2 - concerned with the application that gives way to penalties on the ground of membership to an illegal organization even if the children have no connection to the organization.
Article 7/2 - punishment of children on the grounds of propaganda for an illegal organization because of covering the face partly or entirely.
Article 17 - dealing with discharging the punishment's enforcement under certain circumstances
Article 220/6 - enabling punishment of children under allegations of membership in an illegal organization even though there is no connection between the children and the organization.
Article 33 c of the Act on Meetings and Demonstrations - regarding punishment of children for throwing stones at security forces accounting for armed resistance. (YC/VK)
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