A public prosecutor demanded 26 years of imprisonment for three minors who were arrested in the eastern province of Van in 2019 on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and allegedly tortured under custody, the Mesopotamia Agency reported.
The police took Ö.S., 14, Ş.Y., 16 and O.D., 17, into custody on February 15, 2019 in the İpekyolu district of Van and allegedly tortured them at the police station. When the allegations were made public, lawyers from the Van Bar Association filed a criminal complaint. The prosecutor’s office reportedly launched an investigation upon the complaint; yet, there have been no noteworthy developments in the investigation. According to Mesopotamia, the CCTV records requested by the lawyers have not been provided and the police officers involved in the case have not yet been identified.
The prosecutor’s office drafted an indictment for the minors mainly on charges of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), requesting up to 26 years in prison. The Van 6th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment and scheduled the first hearing for February 25, 2021.
The PKK is an armed secessionist group listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The group has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Violence in the largely Kurdish Southeast has escalated since the collapse of a peace process in July 2015.