Activists call for justice in girl's rape and murder
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 14, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 14, 2016 12:00 am
Women's rights activists called on authorities to punish the killers of Sezgi Kırıt, a 15-year-old girl raped and murdered in southern Turkey in 2009, as well as condemn officials who neglected to follow up on the case.
Kırıt was drugged and raped in the southern city of Antalya in a house she stayed with a man she befriended on a social media website, according to lawyers representing her family. She was later found dead, apparently from the beating she took and as a result of the rape. The suspects in the case were released due to lack of evidence due to to an autopsy report that said the cause of her death could not be determined and due to what the lawyers claim was an ineffective investigation. The family's lawyer managed to bring a spotlight on the case, and the court finally accepted she was raped and murdered.
While the three defendants appeared before a court in Antalya, activists called for an effective punishment of defendants and investigation into prosecutors' negligence in advancing the investigation.
Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), a women's nongovernmental organization which sent lawyers for the case, released a statement that said: "The killers should receive the heaviest, most deterrent sentence," and the negligence of officials which allowed the perpetrators to get away with rape and murder should be investigated.
In the trial's first hearing, one of the defendants denied the charge of murder and named another defendant, who died recently of natural causes, as maybe responsible for the murder. The sister of the deceased defendant, who is also on trial, said she washed the girl's body to erase fingerprints after she found her dead in a room.
The court ordered the arrests of three defendants in the first hearing, to the applause of a packed courtroom.
Sibel Önder, lawyer for victim's family, says the murder was not investigated thoroughly, as the victim was at first believed to be a missing prostitute. She said prosecutors assigned to the case were frequently changed and their failure to advance the investigation of the case extended the legal process. "Only last March did we receive a forensics report that defined Sezgi's death as a result of use of force."