UN calls for probe into Turkey’s use of force

UN calls for probe into Turkey’s use of force
Tue Jun 4, 2013 16:12:02

Turkey must conduct a far-reaching, independent probe on its security forces' treatment of anti-government protesters who have taken to the streets across the country, the UN's human rights office says.

"We're concerned about reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement officers against protestors in Turkey," said Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the UN high commissioner for human rights on Tuesday.

"We welcome the acknowledgement on the part of the authorities that disproportionate force may have been used, and their call for an investigation of law enforcement officers who are alleged to have broken the law and violated international human rights standards," Pouilly told reporters.

"Such investigations should be prompt, thorough, independent and impartial, and the perpetrators should be brought to justice," Pouilly said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted that "there have been some mistakes, extremism in police response." He has also promised that legal action would be taken against officers who acted disproportionately.

Pouilly said the UN's rights office urged Turkey to ensure that the right to peaceful assembly was respected in full, while protestors should also make sure their demonstrations were non-violent.

What began as a small sit-in over the Turkish government's plan to demolish a park in central Istanbul in favor of a shopping arcade has morphed into the biggest protest movement against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he was elected more than 10 years ago.

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