Sexual abuse at Syrian refugee camp in Turkey: 30 children affected

A maintenance crew member sexually abused 30 boys at a Syrian refugee camp in southern Turkey, a Turkish newspaper reported on Thursday.

Erk Acarer, the journalist at the daily Birgun newspaper who uncovered the scandal, told dpa the case took place in 2015, but was only was revealed now, after he obtained a copy of the indictment. The boys were between the ages of 8 and 12.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month visited the Nizip refugee camp, in Gaziantep province, where the abuse allegedly occurred. The camp is touted by Turkey as a model and houses some 19,000 refugees.

Afad, Turkey's emergency management agency, said in a statement that the children were receiving psychological support and that the alleged abuser was set to stand trial.

The agency, which said measures had been implemented to prevent such abuse again, accused Birgun of "distorting" the information with malicious intent.

The case comes after the country was rocked by a sexual abuse scandal at guesthouses in Karaman province run by Islamic charities with ties to the Turkish government.

A teacher at the guesthouses was convicted of abusing 10 children - aged 10 to 12 when the crimes took place - and sentenced to 508 years and three months in jail. The trial and sentencing lasted only one day, drawing some concern.

Last update: Thu, 12/05/2016 - 15:49
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