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RIGHTS > Union of bar associations to appeal to Council of Europe over Gezi violence

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The Union of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB) has decided to appeal to Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland concerning the excessive use of police force against demonstrators during Gezi Park protests. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

The Union of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB) has decided to appeal to Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland concerning the excessive use of police force against demonstrators during Gezi Park protests. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

The Union of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB) has decided to appeal to Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland concerning the excessive use of police force against demonstrators during Gezi Park protests.

The appeal by the TBB will be based on the Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the union announced late on June 16 following an extraordinary meeting of the TBB’s administration board which was held upon a call by President Metin Feyzioğlu.

Titled as “Inquiries by the Secretary General,” the Article 52 says: “On receipt of a request from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe any High Contracting Party shall furnish an explanation of the manner in which its internal law ensures the effective implementation of any of the provisions of the Convention.”

Last week, the Health Ministry opened an investigation into the Istanbul Chambers of Medicine for organizing a temporary health center at Gezi Park where voluntary doctors provided first aid to protesters injured in the almost 20-day-long unrest.

TBB also decided to file judicial and administrative appeals concerning those officials who initiated the investigation against the volunteer paramedics.

The ministry’s probe was followed by detention of doctors in their white coats where they were treating the injured protesters, late June 15, after the riot police launched a grave crackdown against the Gezi Park protesters and cleared the tents from the park.

Jagland, meanwhile, called for dialogue to end the violence in a written statement today. “I call on all parties to continue the dialogue. Any further escalation of violence must be prevented,” he said.

“I believe it is important to recall the legally binding standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the freedom of assembly – and its limits,” the secretary-general said.

“It is true that this right is not absolute, but any restriction has to be prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. The case-law of the European Court of Human Rights is very clear on this.”

Authorities have to take appropriate measures with regard to demonstrations in order to ensure their peaceful conduct and the safety of all citizens, he also said.

“In case security forces have to intervene with force, this intervention has to be strictly proportionate and necessary. For example, in a number of judgments, the Court held that the use of tear gas in confined places, including hospitals, is neither necessary nor proportionate,” he said.

June/16/2013

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