Amnesty International has released a compelling video interview with Hakan Yaman, who was brutally beaten during the Gezi Protests in 2013. The interview occurred during a tour of several European countries, which allowed Hakan to meet with Amnesty staff and activists, government officials, and participate in public events.
Hakan, the father of two, is one of the thousands of victims of shocking police violence which Amnesty described in its ground-breaking report on the suppression of freedom in Turkey during the Gezi protests. Mistaken for a protester, he was attacked by police who beat him, and dragged him on top of a street fire. As a last piece of brutality, one police officer gouged one of his eyes out before leaving him for dead.
According to his own account, “[The police] tried to kill me. They thought I was a protester and they tried to kill me.”
The Amnesty report notes the seriousness of his injuries:
“According to the forensic medicine report Hakan Yaman sustained serious injuries to his head and face. His nose, his cheek bone, and the bones of his forehead and his chin were broken. He lost one eye completely and has lost 80 percent of his sight in the other eye. His skull was fractured from the top of his head all the way down to his jaw and his back sustained second degree burns from being thrown on the fire. He lost consciousness during the attack.
Amnesty has worked hard in the intervening years to work for justice in the case of Hakan Yaman and he notes with tremendous gratitude the outpouring of support he has received from Amnesty members. He will not stand alone.
St. Lawrence University