DC police to charge 12 Turkish security agents

Erdogan's security personnel attack peaceful protesters during demonstration near the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington DC
US Authorities to Charge Turkish Security Guards Over Brutal Attack on Protesters
Author

16 June, 2017

Police in Washington, D.C., have issued felony arrest warrants for two Canadian supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of a bloody assault outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington last month.

Just last week the House of Representatives passed a bill condemning the violence and asking for punishment. "It was an affront to our values". "Here in DC we are committed to protecting and safeguarding [free assembly]". The men, all Turkish citizens, include nine Erdogan security guards and three Turkish police. The incident sparked condemnation from the State Department and could threaten a $1.2 million small-arms sale to Turkish security forces, a deal the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee now says should be nixed.

Turkish officials later claimed that the only reason the guards jumped in was because "police did not heed to Turkish demands to intervene".

"When you have folks that are peacefully protesting here in Washington, D.C., which is a place where we welcome peaceful protest, and they are attacked for no reason, we think it's extremely important", MPD Chief Peter Newsham told reporters. "But when we go there, they want their police to replace our security personnel", he added, criticizing the double standards of the U.S.

A Jersey Shore resident and business owner has been arrested on charges that he participated in a violent attack on demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador's residence. The Trump administration has been forced into a balancing act in handling the incident as it involves a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally. Most of the security detail, who were tasked with guarding the president during his trip to the capitol, face simple assault charges, although two face felony charges of assault causing significant bodily injury.

Men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Clarke said he was less concerned with him being a possible flight risk and more concerned about the nature of the crime.

It appeared that authorities may simply rely on the Turkish nationals turning themselves in, an outcome that is unlikely.

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People in the crowds chanted "Death to Saudi Arabia " alongside the more customary slogans against the United States and Israel. At the same time, several attackers fired on visitors at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic.


"I think that they need to come and they need to answer for what they are responsible for", Newsham said. They plan to release video and images today.

A State Department official condemned the the actions of the security staff: "The conduct of Turkish security personnel earlier this week is deeply disturbing".

If they do return, authorities are expected to charge them on the spot.

If by some chance Turkey accepts that they do not have immunity, the next question is whether the country will comply with the terms of our extradition treaty.

The video then apparently shows Erdogan getting out of the auto and watching for a few seconds.

Arrest warrants have been issued for the security officials, police said.

"It has been emphasized that the decision, which clearly was not taken as a result of an impartial and independent investigation, is unacceptable", the ministry said.


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