3 Turkish policemen arrested for allegedly beating 14-year-old Kurdish boy during Nevruz celebrations

Three Turkish police officers have been arrested for allegedly beating a 14-year-old Kurdish boy during Nevruz celebrations in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, the TR724 news website reported.

According to local media, Y.D. was held in a police car and severely beaten by officers during the festivities.

The Diyarbakır Bar Association on March 22 filed a criminal complaint against the police officers alleging “unlawful detention,” “physical and verbal assault” and “torture and inhumane treatment.”

The three officers were arrested Monday by a local court for “intentionally injuring” Y.D., local media reported.

Nevruz is traditionally marked by Kurds in the second half of March as the first day of spring, with colorful celebrations across the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. However, the celebrations, which have a highly symbolic meaning for Kurds, have often been marred by heavy-handed police intervention.

A recent report on Nevruz celebrations in Turkey drafted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu revealed that nine people have been killed by security officers in celebrations during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s more than two-decade-long rule.

This year’s Nevruz festivities were no exception. During a Nevruz event in İstanbul on Sunday, 224 people were detained for bringing “illegal banners” to the square and “causing outrage by shouting illegal slogans,” according to a statement from the İstanbul Governor’s Office.

The police on Tuesday detained approximately 200 people in Diyarbakır on the grounds that they violated the Law on Demonstrations and Public Meetings and for resisting police officers.

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