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Contempt for Freedom

State Use of Tear Gas as a Weapon and Attacks on Medical Personnel in Turkey

September 2013

Read the report (pdf)

In this report, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) documents the Turkish government's unnecessary and excessive use of force and attacks on medical personnel in response to the peaceful protests that began in May 2013. The Turkish government attacked independent medical personnel who courageously provided care to the injured in accordance with international medical ethical standards and Turkish law. Police also systematically used tear gas as a weapon on hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, firing tear gas canisters and capsules directly at protesters at close range, in confined spaces, and in other areas with no outlet for escape.

PHR conducted a one-week investigation in Istanbul and Ankara from June 25 to July 2, 2013. During this investigation, PHR interviewed more than 50 victims and witnesses of attacks on protesters and medical personnel, as well as violations of medical neutrality. The findings of the PHR investigation corroborate the reports of human rights violations documented by the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), the Human Rights Association, the Istanbul Progressive Lawyers Association, the Contemporary Lawyers Association, and the Turkish Bar Association.

>> Executive Summary (pdf)

>> Nihai Rapor Özeti (Executive Summary in Türkçe) (pdf)

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