A US court has denied Turkey’s request to have the federal judiciary throw out a civil suit filed by protesters seeking damages in relation to the 2017 assault of Kurdish protesters while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was visiting Washington, DC.
US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Thursday struck down Ankara’s argument that security officials accused of assaulting Kurdish protesters in DC’s Sheridan Circle in 2017 were protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, as protesters were posing an immediate threat to the Turkish president.
“Defendant Turkey points to no indication that an attack by the protesters was imminent,” the judge wrote in her ruling, as reported by The Hill. “Instead, the Turkish security forces chased and violently physically attacked the protesters, many of whom had fallen to the ground and no
longer posed a threat.”
Kollar-Kotelly said that video footage of the incident that she observed showed “the protestors were merely standing on the Sheridan Circle sidewalk” and were not a threat to Erdogan.
. . .
“We look forward to proving our claims in Court and to getting a just result for our clients who were attacked and badly injured while protesting against human rights abuses,” said Agnieszka Fryszman, an attorney for the plaintiffs, reported The Hill. “I am glad the Court agreed that agents of a foreign country should not be able to claim immunity for their violent attack on free speech in the United States.”
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