Man paralyzed by Turkish police shot gets longer prison sentence than his shooters
Hürriyet photoAn Istanbul court has sentenced a paralyzed young man who was shot by police officers to three-and-a-half years in prison, while the police officers who shot him have been sentenced to only two-and-a-half years.
Police had confronted Ferhat Gerçek while he was selling a political magazine with six of his friends in 2007, when he was 17 years old. He was shot in his spinal cord and paralyzed, with police officers opening fire after tension erupted with Gerçek and his friends.
While filing the lawsuit against seven officers on charges of “wounding a man by exceeding the right to use force,” the prosecutor’s office also demanded that Gerçek,23, and his companions be sentenced on charges of “violating the Meeting and Demonstrations Law, resisting public servants, insulting public officers indirectly, and damaging goods.”
In the latest hearing of the case on Dec. 20, the Bakırköy 9th Criminal Court of First Instance ruled that Gerçek, who was being tried as complainant suspect, be given a total prison sentence of three-and-a-half-years.
Seven police officers who shot him, meanwhile, have been sentenced to two-and-a-half-years in prison as part of the same case.
One of Gerçek’s lawyers, Engin Gökoğlu, said the decision was “proof that the government is still standing behind police officers and protecting them.”
“This [decision] is enough to show how the judiciary works, and in what kind of environment,” Gökoğlu told daily Radikal.