Since 1993, social Children’s homes in Pas de Calais undertake, through their educational projects, in solidarity actions towards Armenian children boarding. They are launching a major project for this summer: “Mountain biking solidarity” that is to say to raid 750 km mountain bike with 40 French and Armenian adolescents. The purpose: besides the cultural and human enrichment, humanitarian aid to orphanages in Armenia 2.
Two children aged 12 and 13 have been arrested on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” after allegedly tearing down posters showing a photo of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, news website Radikal has reported.
The two cousins, identified only by the initials R.Y. and R.T., now each face up to two years and four months in prison, upon approval of the case by the Justice Ministry.
R.Y. and R.T., two cousins, were detained on May. 1 for tearing down the posters outside the local highway directorate in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
In his testimony, R.Y. reportedly said the two were heading back home from the market and they wanted to remove the posters from the billboards in order to sell them to a junk dealer.
“We did not care about whose posters they were. We just wanted to remove them in order to sell them to a junk dealer,” R.Y. said.
The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office applied to the Justice Ministry to file a lawsuit against the two children, as Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) states that filing a legal case on charges of “defaming the Turkish president” must be done upon approval from the Justice Ministry.
After approval from the ministry, the case was filed against the two cousins in the Diyarbakır 1st Children Court.
The prosecutor’s office also asked for implementation of Article 5 of the Child Protection Law, which means counselling the family of the children in question, assuring their school attendance, and assuring their health conditions.
The article also includes the settlement of children implicated in criminal activities in a children’s home after serving their time in a young offenders’ prison.
The first court hearing will be held on Dec. 8 this year, as the indictment prepared by the prosecutor’s office has been accepted by the Diyarbakır First Children’s Court.
The children’s lawyer, İsmail Korkmaz, said the charges of “insulting the Turkish president” were “unclear” and it was difficult for children to even know who the posters showed.
“It is devastating to see two children being tried for tearing down a poster of the president,” Korkmaz added, slamming Turkey’s “illiberal” justice system.
LAGRANGE — Local residents can help children with PKU in Armenia and get a clean car at a fundraising event in LaGrange Saturday.
A car wash will take place at the First Church of God, 777 N. Detroit St. (Ind. 9 North), LaGrange from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the children of Armenia affected with phenylketonuria (PKU) disorder.
Organizer for the event, Josefina Miller of LaGrange, is known for her participation in and organizing benefit races. She said that volunteer runners had also completed a race in LaGrange Sept. 5, with proceeds directed to the PKU children affected in Armenia. “There is also a high rate of PKU diagnosed in LaGrange County, as well,” she noted.
Those wishing to contribute and not able to attend the car wash should contact the church for further information.
According to Wikipedia, PKU is genetic disorder involving impaired metabolism of phenylalanine, one of the amino acids. Phenylketonuria can build up in the blood and brain to toxic levels, affecting brain development and function.
PKU is an inherited disease. However, for a child to inherit PKU, both of his or her parents must have at least one gene mutation.
Left untreated, PKU can lead to intellectual disability, seizures and other serious medical problems. The damage done to the brain if PKU is untreated during the first months of life is not reversible.
On the initiative of Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakyan, the organizers did their best to create a festive atmosphere and turn the National Assembly Park into a childhood planet, where all the children are happy.
Mr Sahakyan toured the park and congratulated the children.
International Day for Protection of Children, observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation during its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949).
On Monday, representatives of Hikari Center, YMCA and Japan’s Embassy in Armenia visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial Tsitsernakaberd. They paid tribute to the Armenian Genocide victims at the memorial complex.
The lanterns were set afloat, according to an old Japanese tradition.
An 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, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
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.
A report released this week focused on children in Iraq, as well as the responsibility of that nation’s government for ensuring the safety and security of young civilians in the conflict. But it certainly doesn’t preclude similar things happening in Syria, where ISIS is also entrenched and also has been blamed for various atrocities.
In reference to Iraq, at least, the U.N. report found that the terrorist group is resorting more and more to brutal acts such as enslaving, raping, beheading, crucifying and burying people alive. Some of those affected are children.
“We have had reports of children, especially children that are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding what has happened or what they have to expect,” said Renate Winter, an expert with the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Some as young as age 8 are getting training to become soldiers, she said.
“Children of minorities have been captured in places where the so-called ISIL has its strength, have been sold in market with tags, price tags on them, have been sold as slaves,” Winter said.
People of the Yazidi faith — which draws from Christianity, Judaism and the ancient monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism, and which some Muslims consider devil worship — have long faced persecution, though by comparison ISIS’ cruelty to them has been extraordinary. Kurdistan Regional Government adviser Nazand Begikhani, for instance, has said Yazidi “women have been treated like cattle, … subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery.”
Yazidi children haven’t fared much better at the hands of ISIS. An earlier U.N. report described how militants rounded up all Yazidi males “older than 10 years of age at the local school, took them outside the village by pickup trucks, and shot them.”
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have presented a report concerning deaths resulting from crimes in the period since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power in 2002, revealing that 241 children under state protection were murdered over the course 12 years, crimes for which the perpetrators have not been found. Report VEDAT DENİZLİ / ANKARA
In a joint press conference in Parliament on Thursday, CHP İzmir deputy Rıza Türmen and CHP Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu announced official figures from the report. Türmen stressed that most of the children who were later killed had grown up in an atmosphere of violence in earlier periods of their childhood.
Tanrıkulu argued that the state has the blood of the children on its hands, adding, “The government is responsible for the deaths of children.”
“The state is killing the children whom it in fact has to protect. The state is a killer of these children, and those who murder them are protected by the state mechanism. The security forces involved in the acts are under the protection of the state apparatus. They are not punished for what they have done. Since they go unpunished, they do not hesitate to resort to more violence against children. To top it all off, the government empowers the police force with additional authority that will result in the use of more power against individuals, which will make those individuals feel weaker in terms of seeking their rights,” Türmen complained.
Tanrıkulu also criticized the ruling AK Party, saying a “hunt” is being carried out against children, a reference to recent deaths in the Cizre district of Şırnak province.
Şırnak is a troubled area where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and radical Islamist Hüda-Par — a Kurdish Sunni party linked to Turkish Hizbullah — engage in frequent clashes. The government has been criticized for remaining silent in the face of the incidents in an effort to prevent the eruption of Kurdish unrest prior to general elections scheduled for June.
He recalled that five children had been killed in Cizre in a single month, adding: “No perpetrators have been found in connection with the killings. The government should get rid of the policy of impunity for offenders. In a place where the right to life is non-existent, no other basic right can be discussed.”
Tanrıkulu also stated that 520 people had been the victims of extrajudicial killings, while the number of those who were killed under detention or while in prison was 451 over the same period.
According to the report, 208 murders remained unsolved since 2012 as only eight murders went unsolved 2002. This figure increased to 58 in 2014.
Forty-nine children have been subjected to torture in Turkish prisons in 2014, while another 64 have been tortured in police custody, a leading Turkish human rights NGO stated in a report released to mark World Children’s Day on Nov. 20.
The Human Rights Association (İHD) stressed that the figures only represent cases reported to activists and that many victims are hesitant to denounce officials for fear of facing retribution.
So far in 2014, some 360 children have been detained during public incidents or demonstrations, 59 have been arrested and 42 have suffered injury, the report said.
“Children are the utmost victims in terms of human rights violations,” the İHD report said.
The İHD criticized the Justice Ministry for remaining silent in cases of violence and sexual abuse against children in prisons, and called for the release of all child convicts.
The report also drew a bleak picture of the grave social conditions for children, particularly emphasizing the lack of state action against child labor and child marriages.
It also emphasized that children have a right to be part of the decision-making process regarding issues that concern them.
The children in Macedonia are the happiest in the world, whereas those in the United States and Turkey are the saddest.
Israel’s i24news TV website reported the aforementioned adding that this rating is based on a new report by the Britain-based Children’s Society organization.
The report is based on a ranking of the feelings of happiness and satisfaction of some 50,000 children in 39 countries.
As per the report, the happiest children were found to live in Macedonia, The Netherlands, Armenia, Greenland, and Iceland. Israeli kids were ranked in eighth place.
Turkey, the United States, Italy, and France came in last. Russian kids were ranked in 19th place in terms of their happiness.
Photo by Arsen Sargsyan/NEWS.am