Council of Europe Condemns Violence Against Turkey Protesters

A policeman in Istanbul sprays a woman with teargas.

STRASBOURG—The Council of Europe commissioner for human rights has said the excessive use of force during the Gezi protests should not go unpunished.

“All instances of excessive use of force by the police must be fully investigated and adequately punished,” said Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights at the end of a five-day visit to Istanbul and Ankara, during which he discussed the Gezi Park protests and other human rights issues.

The commissioner recalled that, according to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the failure to effectively investigate the misconduct of security forces was a human rights violation in itself, and that Turkey had been condemned on numerous occasions by the court precisely for this reason.

The commissioner had received serious allegations of human rights violations committed by law enforcement forces against demonstrators, backed up by witness accounts, photos, videos and forensic evidence, as well as the number of deaths and injuries over the course of the events. Most of these reports concerned excessive and improper use of tear gas, and ill treatment by police at the time of apprehension. On the other hand, members of the government and security forces considered the use of force proportionate in view of the actions of marginal groups hijacking the demonstrations, except for isolated incidents which are under investigation.

“The only way to bridge this gap in perceptions, and to allow the healing process Turkey needs, is to conduct independent, impartial, and effective investigations with the involvement of victims into all allegations of misconduct by security forces, in accordance with the clear guidelines of the Strasbourg court. Given Turkey’s track record before the court, this requires a novel approach and determination by all relevant actors,” said the commissioner.

The commissioner added that those demonstrators who resorted to violence must obviously also face the consequences of their actions, but said it must be the absolute priority of every democratic state to safeguard the trust of their citizens in law enforcement by combating impunity.


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  1. Alex Postallian said:

    When the mongol turks killed the Armenians,it was called Genocide.Now when the cowards attack their own citizens.Do you call it turkycide? Or is it the taste of their own medicine.

  2. GeorgeMardig said:

    Europe should forget Turkey as a partner, he will be better off to split Turkey into Cantons and devide power with Russia, than try to keep Turkey one piece and have problems for the rest of it’s existance.

  3. Rifat said:

    Too late for the international community to condemn the AKP’s tricks and schemes. They should have not got mad when Turkish courts tried to stip AKP of it’s power in 2008 though.

  4. Dave said:

    One photo says it all. Look at that coward spraying gas on a young defenseless Lady in her velvet dress who by no intent of her own, Just started a Revolution. They should put her statue up in the Park.

  5. ummwhat said:

    AKP never intended to join the EU, they just used the EU to hold back the army. “Democracy is our train to power, when we reach it we’ll get off” – Erdogan, prime minister of fascist genocidal Turkey

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