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40 Kurdish Children Face Up To 24 Years Imprisonment

With the release this Wednesday of 15 children from Diyarbakir prison there
are no minor offenders remaining in prison in the city in relation to the
wave of violence that swept through the province at the end of April.

A total of 40 children who were arrested and placed into a special annex
building at Diyarbakir prison in relation to the 28 March-1 April incidents
have been released from captivity since May 8. During the incidents where
five children were killed when police opened fire on protestors, 213 minors
were initially detained, 94 of them were then arrested. A majority of the
children were subjected to torture and mistreatment under custody.

Cengiz Analay, a lawyer for the children, told Bianet that releasing the
minors where they still had to face prosecution was not a solution and added
"an acquittal decision needs to be taken for the children". If found guilty,
the children still face up to 24 years imprisonment.

This Wednesday's hearing was monitored by The Initiative to End All Forms of
Violence Against Children representatives Ezgi Koman and Emrah Kerimsoy.

In a statement after the hearing, the Initiative stressed that the children
had been held in prison for 62 days in violation of their rights to life,
development, protection and participation, with total disregard of their
interests.

"To put children who have no relation to the incidents and who are not able
to comprehend the meaning or consequences of their actions on trial is in
violation of various international conventions including the United Nations
Convention on Children Rights, the principle of a state of law and the
judicial system for children" the statement said.

The Initiative recalled that the public case launched against the children
demanded up to 24 years imprisonment for each of the minors on charged of
damaging public property, violating law number 2911 and membership to an
illegal organisation.

It stressed that allegations which could lead to heavy penalties for the
children could impose negative examples to the judicial system which itself
was a part of the system of protecting minors and said that the children
concerned should be given the opportunity to use every right the system
offered them and be subject to a decision that would support and protect
them.

The statement invited everyone to reject violence of all forms against
children whatever its source and urged for strategies that will prevent
children from facing conditions of violence and conflict and suffer damages
from these.

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Turkey cracks 'plot' to kill Turkish PM

Anti-terror police in Turkey are reported to have foiled a plot to kill
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish newspapers says nine people,
including three soldiers, have been detained in the capital, Ankara.

Police are said to have found grenades, explosives, a timer, and a sketch
showing Mr Erdogan's route home.

There has been no official comment. Mr Erdogan, whose party has Islamic
roots, last month criticised the army's chief for encouraging popular
protests.

He attacked General Hilmi Ozkok for supporting demonstrations against
Islamist militancy after a judge was murdered by a suspected Islamist
gunman.

The army sees itself as the guardian of secularism in predominantly Muslim
Turkey.

The Hurriyet and Sabah newspapers suggested Cuneyd Zapsu, one of Mr
Erdogan's advisers, was also the target of a likely attack.

There has been no confirmation from the police, but the semi-official
Anatolia news agency said the suspects were "allegedly planning an attack
against a politician".

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