Sarbanes Statement on Violent Attack on Peaceful Protesters Outside Turkish Embassy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after the brutal beatings of peaceful protesters by the Turkish President's bodyguards outside the Turkish Embassy Tuesday night:
"I am outraged by the violent beatings of peaceful demonstrators outside of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. The assault by President Erdogan’s bodyguards is an affront to the First Amendment and the fundamental rights to free speech and assembly. I call on the Departments of Justice and State to fully prosecute those responsible and to take all appropriate diplomatic measures against the Turkish government."
"In the United States, the right to protest is sacred and is enshrined in our Bill of Rights. President Erdogan’s oppressive regime is openly hostile to dissent and has persecuted the press, the independent judiciary, academics and any citizens who oppose his consolidation of power. This attack would be unacceptable anywhere; in the United States it violates our most basic law and must be prosecuted as such. I will continue to push the Trump Administration to prioritize human rights and the rule of law in dealings with Turkey, and will support the right of all people to free speech and self-determination."