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Police officer involved in killing of Gezi protestor sentenced to 7 months in prison for causing ‘injury’

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A Turkish court has handed down a prison sentence of seven-and-a-half months to a police officer on conviction of “willfully causing minor injury” to a university student who was beaten to death during the anti-government Gezi Park protests of 2013, the Evrensel daily reported on Tuesday.

Ali İsmail Korkmaz, 19, who was battered by a group of police officers and civilians in the central province of Eskişehir on June 2, 2013, died of his injuries on July 10 after spending 38 days in a coma.

According to Evrensel, Kayseri 3rd High Criminal Court sentenced police officer Hüseyin Engin, who was previously acquitted in the case, to seven months, 15 days in prison for injuring Korkmaz.

Engin’s retrial was ordered in August by the Constitutional Court upon an individual application that was filed by the slain protestor’s family, who claimed several rights violations. The court also ordered the state to pay Korkmaz’s family TL 67,500 ($3,592) in compensation for violating Article 17 of the Constitution, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment.

The Korkmaz family lawyers said they weren’t satisfied with the local court’s decision and would apply to the Supreme Court of Appeals, Evrensel said.

“It is unacceptable to give a sentence of 7 months, 15 days to the suspect [in the case] of a young man who was beaten to death. Our fight will continue,” the boy’s mother, Emel Korkmaz, told reporters following the hearing.

The protests in 2013 erupted over government plans to demolish Gezi Park in the Taksim neighborhood of İstanbul. They quickly turned into mass anti-government demonstrations that were violently suppressed by the government, leading to the death of 11 protestors due to the use of disproportionate force by the police.

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