The investigation by Jin News Agency of a rape case in the Gercüş (Kercews) district of Batman (Elih) in Turkey has revealed that 27 men – including a specialized sergeant, a police officer and village guards – were reportedly involved in the rape of a fifteen-year-old child and forced two women into prostitution.
A Jin News reporter was threatened by soldiers and asked to leave the district when she travelled to Gercüş to follow up on the report in the field. Gercüş Criminal Court of Peace has issued a broadcast ban regarding the news reporting of the the rape incident, reported Jin News. “An access block to our agency’s Gercüş news has been made”, it added.
27 people being investigated for tweeting about it
After the incident was publicly revealed, thousands of people on social media called on the Turkish authorities to reveal the facts of the case using the tag “#GercüşteNeOluyor” (“What is happening in Gercüş?”) via a trending social media campaign.
Police, however, have launched an investigation against 27 citizens due to their social media posts and tweets regarding the rape incident.
The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services has been involved in the judicial process and the 15-year-old child has reportedly been placed in a Child Protection First Response Centre in another province. A confidentiality order on the investigation file is in place.
When the fifteen-year-old, who lives in Gercüş, visited hospital with a complaint of a stomach ache, it was revealed that she was pregnant. Among the perpetrators, law enforcement officers as well as ranking soldiers, were listed.
According to the investigation files, the perpetrators reportedly forced two women into prostitution. M.A. and V.A., two male suspects from the same village, were arrested. Later, the investigation was expanded. Thirty eight people are included in the case file relating to the child’s rape: reportedly, the majority of the perpetrators are stated to be law enforcement officers, soldiers – either serving with the Turkish police or the army – and village guards.