IKWRO opposes a draft proposal from the Turkish Justice Ministry under which violence against women and girls will be considered a ‘petty crime’ and jail-time can be avoided by paying a fine.

We, the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), along with women’s organisations in Turkey, are deeply concerned by a draft proposal from the Turkish Justice Ministry which, if passed, will allow perpetrators of crimes punishable by five years imprisonment, to engage in negotiations with prosecutors to reduce their sentence to one year, postpone their sentence, do community service or pay money to avoid jail time. The proposal covers a number of crimes that predominantly affect women and girls including molestation, sexual abuse, threats and sex with minors. Victims and survivors will not even be consulted in the negotiations.

In Turkey, since only January 2015, 285 women have been murdered. Perpetrators of violence against women and girls already face minimal charges and often walk free under the outrageous ‘provocation’ rule, which allows perpetrators to argue that they were provoked by their victims. If passed, the latest proposal would put yet more women and girls at risk of harm and would prevent justice.

IKWRO urges Turkey, who notably were the first signatories of the Istanbul Convention, which aims to end violence against women and girls, to; reject the proposal, to end the ‘provocation’rule and to take steps to safeguard women, including ensuring funding for women’s rights organisations.

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