(JNS.org) Amnesty International slammed Turkey in a new report for committing human rights violations “on a huge scale” during the Gezi Park protests and their aftermath last summer.
“The attempt to smash the Gezi Park protest movement involved a string of human rights violations on a huge scale. They include the wholesale denial of the right to peaceful assembly and violations of the rights to life, liberty and the freedom from torture and ill-treatment,” Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s expert on Turkey, said in a statement.
Protests erupted in Gezi Park in June over plans to redevelop the landmark park. The initial demonstrations then evolved into widespread protests against the Islamist government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and its increasingly authoritarian policies. The report, titled Gezi Park protests: Brutal denial of the right to peaceful assembly in Turkey details how police and security forces used excessive force, including live ammunition, tear gas, water cannons, plastic bullets and beatings on protestors, that left three people dead and over 8,000 injured.
The report also documents that chemical irritants were added to water cannons, female protestors were sexually abused by police, and tear gas was fired at innocent bystanders and sometimes into residential buildings or medical facilities.