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Turkish abuse highlighted by European court

July 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

STRASBOURG, France, July 16 (UPI) -- Turkey violated laws regarding torture and abusive behavior during armed clashes with Kurdish militants in 2006, a European court ruled Tuesday.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Abdullah Yasa. The court found there were violations of laws prohibiting the use of torture or inhumane treatment in his case. In 2006, the court said he was injured in the face when Turkish police fired tear gas at demonstrators in Diyarbakir.

Yasa was 13 at the time of the incident. Turkish police responded to demonstrations there in 2006, which followed the deaths of 14 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, during clashes with Turkish forces.

The court said video of the incident revealed Yasa was present at the demonstrations. It was unclear, however, if he was affiliated with pro-PKK protesters. The court said police fired a tear gas grenade seemingly with the intent to strike Yasa in the face.

The European Court called on Turkey to evaluate "the safeguards surrounding the proper use of tear gas grenades." The court said its decision was not final as either say may file an appeal

Turkey aspires to a closer relationship with the European Union. The EU has expressed concern about the status of the PKK peace negotiations and political rights in Turkey.

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