Turkey must end abusive use of force

© Eren Aytuğ / NarPhotos — with Safiye Karaer.  Used by permission

© Eren Aytuğ / NarPhotos — with Safiye Karaer. Used by permission

Amnesty International has issued an updated statement today, again calling for Turkish authorities to end abusive use of force by police against protesters.

In the statement, Amnesty highlights that the crisis is on-going:

The number of activists injured across Turkey as a result of police abuse will continue to escalate unless the authorities bring police tactics in line with basic human rights standards, Amnesty International said today…

The authorities have not confirmed the number of people injured, which is believed to be in the thousands, some of whom remain in hospital in critical state.

Further demonstrations are expected this evening.

John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International, noted that “Three days after the start of an unprecedented wave of police repression against protesters, the Turkish authorities have shown little remorse and no indication of a change in police tactics.”

© Tolga Sezgin / NarPhotos  Used by permission

© Tolga Sezgin / NarPhotos Used by permission

Citing medical associations who have cared for the injured, the statement attributes many of the injuries to the “police using water cannon and firing tear gas canisters at demonstrators.”   Care-givers report that some have “lost their eyesight as a result of such tactics” [See here for a related GIT-North America report].

“Water cannon and tear gas should not be used against peaceful protesters. We’re particularly concerned about the use of tear gas in confined spaces where it represents a major threat to health,” said Dalhuisen.

“The authorities must ensure that in the case of violent demonstrations police intervene only where strictly necessary to protect the public and property, in line with international human rights standards. Amnesty International also calls on protesters not to engage in violence.”

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