Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Case of Cüneyt Ertuş

PHOTO FROM The Tigris News Agency

During the Newroz riots in Hakkari on March 22 (see March 22 post), 15-year old Cüneyt Ertuş was arrested by police and allegedly ill-treated during his detention. Most shockingly, video footage of the boy that aired on European and Kurdish television shows his arm being broken by police while he was not resisting arrest. The event has caught the attention of Kurdish press and there is little doubt that the lasting imagine will be left engrained in the minds of many young Kurds and will assist PKK recruiting—another gift from the state to the PKK.

Amnesty International is calling for the boy to receive proper medical attention and an investigation into the events surrounding his detention. It is well-documented by human rights officers that most torture occurs before the person in custody is formally arrested. AI also condemns the excessive police force used during Newroz and calls on Turkish authorities "to uphold the absolute prohibition of the use of torture and other ill-treatment under the Convention against Torture and their obligations to under the Convention of the Rights of the Child which apply to Cuneyt Ertus who is a minor under national and international law."

Video footage of Ertuş with a man who is apparently a plainclothes police officer can be seen in a video posted on the video-sharing website The video is faily propagandistic, but gives you some idea as to the images being shown on Roj-TV.

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