United States: Condemn attacks on peaceful protesters by Turkish security forces

Members of President Erdogan’s private security detail charged and violently assaulted peaceful protesters on Tuesday in Washington DC.  As described by the Washington DC Police Department, on Tuesday night supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, including his government security forces and several armed individuals, violently charged a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence, in what the police characterised as “a brutal attack.”

Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, and nine were taken to a hospital, the Metropolitan Police chief, Peter Newsham, said at a news conference on Wednesday. Two Secret Service agents were also assaulted in the melee, according to a federal law enforcement official.

“It is unfortunate but not surprising that the White House would fail to raise and condemn the human rights abuses perpetrated by Erdoğan’s in Turkey, given President Trump’s previous praise of the Turkish President”, said Quinn Mckew, Deputy Director of ARTICLE 19.  “But now the White House is failing to condemn unprovoked attacks on American policemen and citizens by members of Erdoğan’s security detail.  Apparently the new foreign policy is ‘Strongmen First, Americans Second’”, she added.

New video has emerged that suggests that Erdoğan’s detail may have acted with his full knowledge, showing him speaking with members of his security team who were involved in the attack immediately before and after.  The United States must demand that those responsible be brought to justice.

“President Trump claims to have a good relationship with President Erdogan. If that is the case, we respectfully demand that he uses these relations to ensure that these crimes against American policemen and citizens do not go unpunished.  He should request those involved be made immediately available to investigators to answer for their role in the attacks”, said McKew.