HDP: Government pursues anti-child policies in Kurdistan

The HDP condemned the surging cases of violence against children in Kurdistan, saying that, “The war policies of the AKP-MHP government promote hostility towards children."

The Children's Commission of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held a press conference on Wednesday about the ever-increasing child deaths and violence against children.

The Co-Spokesperson of the Children's Commission, Hüseyin Kaçmaz, recalled the HDP Children's Commission's recent press statement on the case of 16-year-old Muharrem Aksem who was found dead in the Eyyübiye district of Urfa where the special operations police carry out target practice.

Kaçmaz stated the following:


“The deadlock on the Kurdish issue and the government’s war policies have transformed the Kurdish territory into an ammunition store. According to the Children’s Rights Violations Report published by the Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakır Office Documentation Centre on November 19, 2021, 228 children lost their lives during the armed conflicts in Kurdistan between 2011 and 2021. Moreover, according to the latest report of the Diyarbakır Bar Association Child Rights Centre, 45 children lost their lives because of "Mines, Conflict and War Waste" between 2011 and 2021. In almost 10 years, 300 children have been killed.


There are unexploded gas bombs and weapons in the photos Muharrem shared on his social media accounts. This is a clear indication of how easily Kurdish children can access military ammunition in residential areas.

Muharrem Aksem was found dead in the neighbourhood of Micit (Çalışkan) in Eyyübiye, district of Urfa, where special operations police officers use a field for firearm training and practice, on 24 March 2022. Unable to contact him last Thursday, his family started searching for Aksem and eventually found his body near the shooting field, a kilometre away from the village. According to the preliminary autopsy report, Aksem had no right hand and several open wounds on his face and body. The report found 12 metal objects of different sizes in his body.

Therefore, we ask: Why was the area where Muharram died not even cordoned off for security reasons? Red flags were not placed around the area, and even a wire fence was not put up. Local people were informed that firearm training would be conducted in this area. Relevant officials and institutions did not take even the minimum standard precautions and they caused a murder. Those responsible for this murder are those who did not take precautions.


In a previous case, the police strip searched a 2-year-old child and took blood samples from dozens of children under custody following the Newroz celebrations. They even got the fingerprints of a 5-year-old child. The reason for all of these practices is the government’s insistence on war and deadlock on the Kurdish issue, and the protection of perpetrators of rights violations with impunity.

In light of the available information, the governorate and all other concerned authorities to conduct the required investigation and examination. The government should immediately reveal the truth and inform the public, especially Muharrem's family, about the incident and those responsible should be punished.”