HRFT: "Urgent action- Stop violence against peaceful protesters in Turkey"

Press release
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Statement of HRFT (Human Rights Foundation of Turkey)

As you might know, citizens who are enjoying their freedom of expression and right of assembly and demonstration have started peaceful and democratic demonstrations in Gezi Park in Istanbul. Last week, police forces have started using violence against them to disperse peaceful protests. As a reaction to violent attacks against protestors in Gezi Park, many other protests occurred with the participation of hundreds of thousands of citizens all around Turkey, particularly Ankara and Izmir. Yet, since the first day, police forces have also used systematic violence against these protestors all around Turkey. This reached the level of torture and ill-treatment.

According to Human Rights Association, Progressive Lawyer Association, Turkish Medical Association, and relevant Bar Associations, more than one thousand people were taken into custody and subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Thousands of people were wounded. We are deeply concerned that there are strong and just claims about brain death of a young person in Ankara because of violent attacks.

Moreover, as a result of chemical gas attacks and physical attacks against mobile infirmaries established under the coordination of the Turkish Medical Association and Medical Chamber, medical services were provided under very severe conditions and even interrupted. This also reveals another dimension of human rights violations.

These human rights abuses show that the political power in Turkey fearlessly has violated the right to life and prohibition of torture. Acts of political power are a crime in accordance with universal human rights norms and international law.


Actions required:
Please write/call to the authorities in Turkey, urging them to:

- Put an end to police violence and acts of torture and ill-treatment against protestors and further deaths and injuries;

- Allow the right to peaceful protest of the demonstrators;

- Mission an immediate, independent and impartial investigation of allegations of torture and ill-treatment of protestors and of deaths and injuries;

- Release peaceful protestors who were taken under custody during protests all around Turkeys;

- Ensure access to healthcare for all those who need it.

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