Strasbourg, 8/7/2013 - “All instances of excessive use of force by the police must be fully investigated and adequately punished” said Nils Muižnieks, 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 events 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, 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 that the use of force had been proportionate in view of the actions of marginal groups hijacking the demonstrations, except for isolated incidents which are under investigation. (more...)
See also: Turkey and the Council of Europe