No prosecution for stopping unruly plane passengers
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMay 16, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 16, 2016 12:00 am
A new regulation approved by Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee paves the way for fellow passengers to subdue unruly passengers without being subjected to subsequent prosecution. The Milliyet daily reported that the regulation was part of Turkey's compliance with the 2014 Montreal Protocol, which modernized the existing Tokyo Convention regulating offenses committed on aircraft.
The regulation allows fellow passengers to intervene when an unruly passenger or passengers cause disturbance onboard, including subduing the passenger in question and work with the plane's crew to restrain the offensive passenger. It says that if a passenger has "reasonable grounds" to act, he or she can intervene to ensure the safety of his or herself. Any intervention will not be subject to prosecution. The regulation also exempts cabin crew or airlines from prosecution, Milliyet reported. Passengers can also ask for compensation for damages caused by offenses committed aboard the aircraft.
The Tokyo Convention, adopted in 1969 by hundreds of countries, oversees actions for airlines to tackle offenses during flights. The Montreal Protocol, which modernized the convention, clarifies unruly behavior referred to in the original treaty, extends jurisdiction over in-flight offenses and the recovery of costs caused by unruly passengers.
The regulation adopted by Parliament extends jurisdiction over in-flight crimes to the country in which an air carrier is registered, while the destination country will have the authority to try the offender if the offense was committed as the plane is about to land in said country or in its airspace, but only in cases if unruly behavior is deemed dangerous for other passengers and the overall safety of the airplane.
Unruly behavior covers a range of offenses and misdemeanors from terror threats to brawls by heavily intoxicated passengers and sexual abuse cases.