Report: 20,000 arrested during demonstrations in Turkey in 4 years

A recent report published by the Turkish Human Rights Association revealed that a total of 4,771 violations occurred between 2015 and 2019 in Turkey, with regard to the right to assembly and demonstration.

The report stated that the authorities arrested more than 20,000 people as a result of their participation in the demonstrations during this period.

According to the report, prosecutors filed a lawsuit against 4,907 people for using their right of assembly during these four years, and nearly 1,000 of them were sentenced to prison terms.

Protesters were mostly accused of “violating the law on demonstrations”, “carrying out terrorist propaganda”, “insulting the president”, “resisting police forces”, “damaging public property” and “belonging to a terrorist organization”.

A total of 4,907 protesters were subjected to police violence, 90 of whom were injured by police fire and 19 died during this period. Of the 19 people who were killed, 15 were shot, two died as a result of severe tear gas, and another was shot by a tear gas canister.

human rights violations

The report indicated that about 98% of human rights violations occurred in demonstrations that took place in an open area.

According to the report, police violence mostly occurred during protests organized over the dismissal of government officials through legal decrees and the Kurdish issue.

The report stated that restricting someone’s right to assembly also limits their right to freedom of expression and that collective action is one of the most important ways to spread and deepen democracy in any country.

“The process of democratization we are witnessing in Turkey also shows itself in the extensive and systematic violations against the right to assemble and demonstrate,” the report said.




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