Eight-year-old Enes Ata and 14-year-old Mahsum Mızrak were killed in Diyarbakır in 2006 when police used tear gas to disperse a crowd. On 15 October this year, a court upheld the acquittal of the defendant police officers.
Following the 2006 funeral of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members in Diyarbakır, police used tear gas against the crowd of mourners. Enes Ata and Mahsum Mızrak were killed after being exposed to the tear gas.
The judicial process was launched four years after the incident. During the judicial process, three police members were tried and 39 hearings took place. It was also revealed that police tampered with evidence related to the death of Ata and Mızrak.
Regarding the court’s decision, Mahsum Mızrak’s father Hasan Mızrak said, “The state is protecting the police” and added that the police murdered defenseless children.
According to DW News’ report, court decisions on cases where public officials stand accused have become a topic of discussion in recent times. The Gaziantep Court of Appeal made a similar ruling regarding the murder of two children by a police panzer in Şırnak (Şirnex) in 2017, fining the defendant police officer 19,000 Turkish lira.
Barış Yavuz, a lawyer from the Diyarbakır Bar Association and a Turkey Human Rights Association representative, criticised courts of appeal and drew attention to the impunity system in Turkish courts.
Yavuz said that the main purpose of these kinds of decisions was to protect public officials who committed crimes, and that this policy has allowed the impunity system to spread.