Family of 14-year-old Kurd pressured by district governor to withdraw mistreatment complaint

The family of a 14-year-old Kurdish teenager who has accused police officers of physical assault has been urged by the local district governor to withdraw the complaint, the Yeni Yaşam newspaper reported on Friday.

The report came from the southeastern province of Hakkari, where the 14-year-old Kurd, identified only by the initials A.Ç., was allegedly intercepted and beaten by police officers on May 22 as he was returning home.

The incident reportedly took place at a location close to A.Ç.’s family home, and his father soon arrived on the scene because he heard a disturbance outside.

The officers accused the teenager of following the fiancée of one of them on the road and filed a harassment complaint in response to his mistreatment complaint.

“We were told that we should withdraw our complaint since we have no evidence and no witnesses,” A.Ç. said. “I’m suffering from psychological trauma.”

Police brutality and mistreatment are a systematic problems in Turkey about which local rights groups, parliamentarians and state authorities receive hundreds of complaints every year.

Law enforcement officers appear to enjoy even greater impunity in the predominantly Kurdish southeast, where alleged incidents of torture and mistreatment by security forces almost never get investigated or condemned by government officials.

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