Protesters Demand More Protection For Women And Children

Protest outside Iskele District Court
[Protest outside Iskele District Court]
Friday, 3 February 2023

Protesters gathered in front of Iskele District Court where a three month detention order had been made against 21-year-old Sefer Buğra Altundağ, charged with the murder of 16-year-old Zehie Helin Reessur, Kibris Postasi reports.

The protest was supported by 22 NGOs and political parties.

A joint press statement was read out by the President of the Famagusta Women’s Centre Association, Sıdıka Özdoğan.

Femicide was a political issue, she said, accusing the state of failing in its duties to protect women and children. The state and the judiciary have an urgent duty to protect women and children, the statement said.

Zehie Helin Reessur, the murdered girl was self-confident and strong, but not strong enough to defend herself against her attacker, Özdoğan said.

She went on to say that child monitoring centres should be established to enable early detection of problems experienced by children at risk and to ensure that they are protected from possible dangers.

Additionally, social services are inadequate, the statement said. There were not enough experienced staff in the Social Services Department, therefore not enough time could be spent on cases. There should be an increase in trained and experienced staff in all districts.

Even if a person reported abuse, and harassment, it could take a year to begin investigating the case, the statement said. Such cases should be given top priority.

Gender Equality Law

It was pointed out that the Law on the Gender Equality Department was passed by the Assembly in 2014, but no specialist departments have been formed yet.

In order to better protect women and children, these deficiencies should be eliminated immediately, the statement concluded.

Kibris Postasi

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