A federal judge ruled that portions of a lawsuit may proceed against three men for their alleged involvement in the beatings of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in 2017.
In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the suit filed by 15 mostly pro-Kurdish demonstrators, nearly all U.S. citizens and residents, may continue to seek damages for injuries they contend they suffered when guards for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked their group and ignited a melee. The judge’s ruling allows financial claims to continue against the Republic of Turkey, Turkish security forces and five civilians on accusations that they committed assault, battery and hate crimes under D.C. law against the protesters.
The Turkish government, named as a defendant, has yet to respond to the lawsuit.
The government was served in the case on Feb. 11 and has until April 12 to respond in court, said Agnieszka M. Fryszman, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
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The litigation stems from a violent incident outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington on May 16, 2017, against people who gathered to protest alleged human rights violations against the Kurds.
Video footage of the incident outside the Sheridan Circle residence showed men in suits and olive-green military-style jackets kicking and bludgeoning protesters, including women carrying young children and men in their 60s. Victims contend they suffered concussions, seizures, neurological damage, lost and broken teeth, and post-traumatic stress.
The civil case followed attempted criminal prosecution of 15 security guards with Erdogan, as well as two individual Canadians and two Americans.