KHRP Publishes Latest Trial Observation Report
KHRP is pleased to announce the publication of its latest trial observation report, A Children’s Choir Face Terrorism Charges: Juveniles in the Turkish Justice System.
A total of thirteen children were initially indicted, though charges against four of them were subsequently withdrawn. Of the nine children who went to trial, three faced proceedings in an adult court. Although all were eventually acquitted, the episode underlined the threats posed to human rights by Turkey’s recently-amended anti-terror legislation, as well as the failure of the country’s justice system to afford adequate protection to children.
The report is based on the findings of a mission dispatched to south-eastern Turkey by KHRP in June 2008 to observe trial proceedings against members of a local youth choir who were charged under anti-terror legislation for singing a Kurdish song at a world music festival in the United States the previous October. Prosecutors said the song was associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and that singing it amounted to disseminating propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organisation.
Besides contrasting the treatment of the children with standards set out in international human rights agreements, this trial observation report also places the case in the context of broader patterns of restrictions on freedom of expression and cultural and language rights in Turkey.
Free copies of the report can be downloaded from the KHRP website here. Printed copies are available for £10.00 + P&P through our online shop here.
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