Children torturing children in notorious Turkish juvenile prison: Report
İsmail Saymaz İZMİRAn internal notice by officials at a juvenile prison in the town of Aliağa in the Aegean province of İzmir has revealed that child inmates were torturing each other, while rape and other sexual crimes were almost ordinary occurrences at the prison.
Much of the torture was committed by the older and stronger children, according to the document also signed by the Şakran Prison’s head, Hamit Karslıoğlu.
In addition, the prison guardians were poorly audited, exceeding their authority and misusing power, the report dated Dec. 2, 2014 showed, adding that they often provided children with equipment that should not be used of inmates.
The report was compiled from information from the prison records and the testimonies of child suspects and convicts, and was apparently sent to the psycho-social rehabilitation department of the prison.
Many cases detailed in the report involved brutal acts aimed at humiliating weaker children, while others were self-imposed tortures that were inflicted in order to visit the prison doctors.
The reports also noted that many violent acts took place at night, after the guardians’ daily shifts were over.
“All this pain in the children’s [prison] prove Halil Rifat Pasha [an Ottoman statesman who died in 1901] right, when he said that imprisoning children behind iron doors is equal to abandoning them to their fate and abandoning their life outside,” a sentimental quote in the report said.
Karslıoğlu told the Radikal website that he was not authorized to comment on whether he was responsible for the report.
The Turkish Parliament’s human rights commission decided in 2013 to perform inspections at a number of prisons after reports of torture and ill-treatment at Şakran Prison.
The situation at Şakran stirred concern after the Progressive Lawyers’ Association claimed that children were being held for days and months in cells as small as three meters squared.