1023 Child Political Convicts - Dramatic Increase

Minister of Justice Ergin announced that the number of child political prisoners increased from 17 in 2005 to 1,023 in 2010.

The Minister of Justice, Sadullah Ergin, announced that the number of child political convicts rocketed from 17 in 2005 to 1,023 in 2010. Ergin published the related data in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Pervin Buldan.

BDP Deputy Buldan had asked about convicts sentenced on the grounds of having opposed certain articles of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK). The information released by Minister Ergin in reply revealed a dramatic increase in the number of children/juveniles who were convicted in the context of political cases.

In 2005, 17 juveniles were convicted and 78 were acquitted. In 2006, a few less juveniles were sentenced with 14 convictions and 67 acquittals. 2007 saw 47 convictions and 97 acquittals of juvenile compared to 36 convictions and 122 acquittals in 2008.

A sharp increase occurred in 2009 with 1,105 convictions and 1144 acquittals. In 2010, the numbers were equally high: 1,023 convictions and 857 acquittals of juveniles.

2009 was the year when the investigations and operations with regard to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) started.

According to the announcement of Minister Ergin, data related to the total number of convictions on the grounds of opposing the TCK reveal a constant increase in numbers. Only the number of women convicts slightly decreased between 2005 and 2006:

* 2005: 2314 men, 412 women

* 2006: 3355 men, 374 women

* 2007: 5284 men, 647 women

* 2008: 5423 men, 649 women

* 2009: 8299 men, 912 women

* 2010: 8686 men, 1206 women (YY/VK)



Ankara - BIA News Center

20 February 2012, Monday