Ankara Bar Association files complaint against police officer who groped protester

Ankara Bar Association files complaint against police officer who groped protester

ANKARA – Demirören News Agency

The Ankara Bar Association has filed a criminal complaint against a police officer who was caught on camera groping a woman at a protest while detaining her.

“It is unacceptable for a law enforcement officer whose main task is to ensure public safety to sexually abuse a citizen who is unable to defend herself as she gets detained,” the bar association said in a criminal complaint filed on Feb. 18.

The police officer is evidently seen groping the young woman’s bottom while detaining her on Feb. 1 at a protest of the Foundation for Solidarity of Families of Convicts (TAYAD) in Ankara’s central Sakarya Avenue.

It stressed police officers are strictly prohibited from breaching the physical integrity and personal autonomy of a citizen.

“In this very obvious case, the suspect sexually assaulted the young woman by undue influence,” the Ankara Bar Association said, reiterating Article 102 of Turkish Criminal Code which stipulates that prison sentences from two to seven years will be increased by one-and-a-half times for sexual harassments perpetrated by public officers.

The complaint also mentioned Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which confers responsibilities of such an act to the state.

“In this sense, the person, who is accused of violating the Article 3 of the ECHR, should be investigated by the state,” the association said.

Ankara’s provincial police department claimed on Feb. 18 that the allegations regarding the police officer were made for “provocation reasons and to defame the reputation of the police force.”

“Criminal complaints have been filed against social media posts which target [police] officers,” the police department said.

The incident came to light when a teacher, who was dismissed by an emergency decree, posted the images of the abuse.

The images went viral immediately after, triggering a vitriolic reaction from social media users. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu on Feb. 18 submitted a parliamentary question regarding the sexual abuse.