Turkish soldiers / Unknown

14/07/2016 - 10:05 0
Turkish Security Forces Granted Immunity for War on Kurds

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has signed the bill granting state security forces and village guards immunity from prosecution.

The law, which was passed through parliament with AKP, CHP and MHP votes in June, gives security forces, including civil servants engaged in 'counter-terrorism' activities, immunity from prosecution. Permission is required from the military or political leadership for any prosecutions.

The law will be applied retroactively, thereby covering the operations undertaken over the past year. The new law also expands the jurisdiction of military courts, where members of the security forces accused of criminal activities during their service will be prosecuted.

Reuters has said the legislation could make it harder to investigate allegations of rights abuses. The United Nations and human rights groups have raised concerns about such violations during the last year of operations that have been centered in densely populated cities.

Political commentators have added that the new law has been introduced to protect security forces from war crimes committed in Kurdish cities during the martial lockdown, curfews and sieges beginning in July 2015. Hundreds of civilians were killed by state forces across 7 Kurdish districts during clashes between state forces and the Kurdish Civil Protection/Defence Units (YPS).