World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish government presented a new draft to Parliament within Kurdish opening that is now being debated by lawmakers.
According to the draft presented to parliament, new arrangements will be made regarding to the relevant articles of judicial penalties given to children.
The government's draft is envisaged to protect children who throw stones at police from facing time in prison under anti-terror law.
In the draft, children under 18 will be judged by juvenile courts and not by the high criminal courts.
50 percent increase given for any criminal punishment under the Anti-Terrorism Act, will not be applied to children.
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin reminded that necessary changes on fundemantal criminal legislation became effective on June 1, 2005, but after 4 years, it appears some problems occured in practice. He pointed out some desicions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Turkey because of these issue.
According to the draft, the third and fourth articles of the Anti-Terror Law that defines ''terrorist crimes''and related materials will not be applied to children. Without age distinction, all children 'who commit terrorist crimes' will be tried in juvenile courts.
According to the new Anti-Terror Law, a decision for adjourning the release of the verdict can be taken; the sentenced prison service can be changed into optional sanctions and not be delayed for children. With the changes, freedom binding penalties given to the children will be converted to fines. They will be provided profession and art courses or serve for public.
The regulations does not contain any pardon for over the age of 18.
The children who throw stones at police or chant illegal slogans in favor of the PKK are tried or punished for being members of a terrorist organization, according to the current law.
The laws make no age distinction between minors and adults. What is more, it allows for minors to be sent to an adult prison.
Legal experts say more than 1,000 children were taken into custody within the last two years for this reason. According to the data from the Initiative for Justice for Children, there are currently 300 such children aged between 12 and 18 who are detained in prisons.