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Turkey to review sentencing of child stone throwers

Turkey to review sentencing of child stone throwers
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Turkey could be poised to overhaul its strict anti-terror laws as political concern grows over the number of tough sentences being handed out to children.

Hundreds of minors, some as young as 12, have been prosecuted and jailed following clashes with police.

Known as the “stone throwing problem”, the legislation especially affects Turkey’s Kurdish youth.

With the Turkish government keen to expand the rights the minority Kurds, a bill is due to go before parliament to reduce penalties.

“ An entire generation is growing up in the prisons in the southeast,” said a lawyer. “ They are just kids, children, whose rights are recognised by international conventions, but are being punished as if they were members of terrorist organisations under anti-terror law.”

A change would likely see minors attending a juvenile hearing instead of a high criminal court, which is currently the case. But activists fear, any bill could fail to be approved after a recent surge in Kurdish nationalist violence.