A March 28 article in The Atlantic gives a synopsis of recent allegations of abuse made by young Kurds held in pretrial detention in Turkey. Several human rights groups have been making complaints to the government, some for nearly a year. A recent investigation, “conducted by members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Kemalist Republican People’s Party, found that 25 out of 215 inmates sentenced recently under anti-terror laws to the Pozanti Juvenile Detention Center in the Mediterranean city of Adana reported rape and regular beatings at the hands of prison guards and other inmates.”
Most of the victims were detained for throwing rocks and participating in protests against the Turkish government. Abuse appears to be greater in areas were ethnic Turks run the juvenile facilities. In 2011 the government ended the practice of equally applying anti – terrorism laws to children and adults. Children also were no longer placed in adult facilities.
Following the accusations and the public protests that followed the Pozanti center has been closed, and the children transferred to an Ankaraprison. The situation, as pointed out in a recent post by Denise Tomasini-Joshi and Douglas Keillor on the Open Society blog page, points out the precarious position of children in pretrial confinement.
From Tanzania to the United States to Denmark concerns about the pretrial detention of juveniles are being raised. A 2010 report from Defence of Children International thoroughly examines the realities of the issue, including hidden costs and strategies for change.