Turkish court sentences Quran instructor to 217 years in prison for sexually abusing 9 students
GİRESUN – Doğan News Agency
A court in the Black Sea province of Giresun sentenced a Quran assistant instructor to 217 years, four months and 15 days in prison on July 25 for sexually abusing nine students in his course aged between nine and 13.
The incident occurred last year in Giresun’s Alucra district. Halil İbrahim U., working at the Alucra Boys Boarding School to teach the students to recite the Quran by heart (“hafız”), was detained on Aug. 23, 2016 following complaints filed by the families of the students allegedly exposed to sexual abuse.
One day after his testimony, on Aug. 30, 2016, the suspect was arrested by a court order.
The chief public prosecutor’s office then imposed a publication ban on the trials and decided that hearings would take place close to public on the grounds of “children’s interest.”
The last hearing of the case took place in the Şebinkarahisar Heavy Penal Court on July 25. Giresun Bar General Secretary Murat Bektaş, Bar Children Rights Commission President Özge Üstün and Bar Women Rights Commission President Sevil Göksüzoğlu were also present at the courtroom.
The Şebinkarahisar Heavy Penal Court handed down a record sentence, more than 217 years of imprisonment in total, on charges of “sexual abuse of children” and “depriving them of their freedom.”
Following the decision, Giresun Bar President Soner Karademir released a written statement saying each of the children who suffered was represented by the bar member lawyers.
“In this dire incident, it is also an important issue for the children’s identities to be kept confidential and for this information as well as photos of the injured parties to not be shared by media organs. In this sense, every individual and institution should prevent a second unjust suffering from taking place by acting in line with this awareness. Because what really matters and what is priority is what is in the ultimate interest of the child,” Karademir said.