A refugee from northeast Syria and mother of three infants, Reyhan Abdi, is convicted of terrorist group membership by a Turkish court and jailed with her two-month-old baby, Mezopotamya Agency reported.
The police arrested Abdi on 26 Aug and held her in custody with her baby for three days in Istanbul Security Directorate, before the court found her guilty of terrorism on Monday’s trial. After living in Istanbul since 2017 and taking refuge with her family, Abdi had two more children, now three and four years old.
Turkish Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) condemns Abdi’s imprisonment for being unlawful, as the court file “lacks any evidence of the alleged crime”. Noting the prison sentence should be exceptional and only used as a protective measure, the Association’s Istanbul office states, “implementing this measure for a woman with a 2-month old baby will obviously result in irreversible consequences.”
“During her detention for three days, our client has already stopped producing breast milk and suffers psychological harm due to the stress, worrying about her infant baby and her 3 and 4 year olds in need of childcare,” continues the statement.
It is against children’s rights to imprison young children with their parents, ÖHD says, referring to the Child Protection Act and the United Nations Convention on the Right of Children, the latter ratified by countries including Turkey.
Commenting that the present conditions in Turkish prisons are not suitable for children’s residence, the ÖHD lawyers call for the judicial authorities to comply with the law.