Turkey: A Weekend of Police Abuse. Many Protesters Arrested; Hospital Targeted


The Erdoğan government’s use of force in a clampdown on protesters over the weekend has precipitated a deepening human rights and political crisis in Turkey. Human Rights Watch documented a huge wave of arbitrary detentions and police attacks on people who were on hospital premises, as well as on a hospital itself and on makeshift health clinics. With the trade union confederations declaring a strike on June 17, 2013, there were signs of further clampdown on demonstrations in the evening. 

“The police assault on a peaceful crowd in Gezi Park and teargas use in confined spaces showed a dangerous disregard for the well-being – and indeed the lives – of protesters and bystanders,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The repeated police violence against people who are dissatisfied with government policies has deeply polarized Turkey. The government urgently needs to change police tactics and issue a clear signal for restraint.”

Police intervention on the evening of June 15 brought to an end the 18-day occupation of Gezi Park at Taksim Square. The police fired rounds of teargas and plastic bullets in the park, including in an area clearly marked as a clinic. The police gave protesters a 20-minute warning.  The timing of the assault was particularly shocking given the large number of people in the park, swelled by supporters who included families and children.

The full article continues at http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/18/turkey-weekend-police-abuse on Human Rights Watch’s website.

Human Rights Watch is a steering committee member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition. The coalition promotes respect for international humanitarian and human rights laws that relate to the safety and security of health facilities, workers, ambulances, and patients during periods of armed conflict or civil violence.