Victims of Brutality in Washington Protests Deserve Justice

Target: Rex Tillerson, United States Secretary of State

Goal: Punish and remove Turkish bodyguards who reportedly assaulted a crowd of peaceful protesters, leaving multiple people wounded.

A crowd of innocent demonstrators were subjected to violent treatment allegedly at the hands of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s own bodyguards during his official visit to the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. According to numerous eyewitness accounts and video footage, the black-clad attackers wearing badges rushed through police lines and began striking various protesters with their fists and nearby objects. 11 people, including one police officer, were injured during the minutes-long confrontation. One man ended up needing stitches to his head, while another woman reportedly required a CAT scan following the injuries she sustained.

Prior to the attack, the protesters were chanting slogans and holding signs in support of a Kurdish political party and the release of a political prisoner arrested under Erdogan’s regime. The Turkish president’s official visit, which included a meeting with President Trump had been considered controversial given Erdogan’s recent moves to solidify his authoritarian powers in his nation.

While violence against demonstrators has become sadly commonplace on Turkish soil under President Erdogan’s oppressive regime, it is outrageous that this brutality was allowed to occur in the United States capital against protesters exercising their First Amendment rights in peace. The United States State Department has responded saying that it is expressing its concern to the Turkish government regarding this incident, while the D.C. Metropolitan Police is conducting its own investigation, noting however that the bodyguards may be protected under diplomatic immunity. Sign this petition to urge the State Department to more strongly condemn this act and to ensure that these Turkish officials are removed or arrested immediately if their involvement is confirmed.


Dear Secretary Tillerson,

Multiple innocent people, including one police officer, were injured during protests in front of the Turkish Embassy in the nation’s capital at the time of Turkish President Erdogan’s official visit. It is alleged that Erdogan’s own bodyguards rushed through police lines and struck a number of demonstrators who were voicing their support of a Kurdish political party and the release of political prisoners.

These attacks were senseless and it is an outrage that they were allowed to occur on American soil, where protesters have the constitutionally-sanctioned right to peacefully assemble and speak their minds. Diplomatic immunity should only be allowed to apply to very specific circumstances, and should not be used to protect authorities representing oppressive foreign regimes. We, the undersigned, demand that these bodyguards be removed from the Turkish Embassy if they are still present and that they be punished severely.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Presidential Press and Information Office

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