Sentences for child abuse, murders to be toughened

Sentences for child abuse, murders to be toughened

Sentences for child abuse, murders to be toughened

Convicts of crimes against children will see new sentences other than imprisonment, Minister Bozdağ (C) says. AA Photo

A draft code presented to the Parliament on May 12 projects to toughen sentences for crimes committed against children. The move comes amid increased media attention for child abuse and murders, and even demands for the return of capital punishment for such crimes.

Those sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment for crimes against children will now be jailed for 39 years, nine years longer than the current implementation, as the minimum life imprisonment term will rise to 33 years from the current 24 years, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on May 12. In addition to jail terms, sentences for those convicted of sexual crimes would include therapy, a ban on living in the same city as the victim, and a ban on working in professions involving children, Bozdağ added.

No need for medical report

According to the draft, no medical report on the mental or physical health of the victimized child will be required in abuse cases.

Giving or selling drugs to children will also lead to sentences of no less than 15 years, according to the new draft, Bozdağ added.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said that he personally thought capital punishment should be implemented for crimes against children, but added that Turkey had already lifted the death penalty in line with the EU acquis. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç subsequently denied that the government was planning to reinstate capital punishment for such crimes.