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Europe rights chief calls for investigation of Turkish police response to protests

Council of Europe (COE) Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks [official profile] on Friday urged an investigation [press release] into Turkey's "extremely disproportionate" use of police force against anti-government protesters during last month's violent protests in the country. Muizineks acknowledged that recent statements by President Abdullah Gul [press release] referencing the responsibility of police in the escalation of anti-government protests will help to begin pacifying tension. Muizineks, however, said the only way Turkey can fully recover "is to conduct independent, impartial, and effective investigations, with the involvement of victims, into all allegations of misconduct by security forces." Lastly, Muiznieks urged authorities to guard against a campaign of intimidation against various professionals like doctors, lawyers and academics who participated in anti-government protests.

Various other human rights groups have called for recovery measures to be taken in Turkey following the recent anti-government protests. Last month the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Turkish government to ensure the rights of its citizens [JURIST report] to assemble freely and in a peaceful manner. Also in June the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights commended the Turkish government's decision to delay government construction that was being protested by Turkish citizens and urged authorities to work to defuse tensions [JURIST report]. Also last month the Human Rights Watch called on Turkish police to use non-violent tactics [JURIST report] against citizen protests.

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