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Amnesty accuses Turkish police of using tear gas canisters as weapons


Turkey

Amnesty accuses Turkish police of using tear gas canisters as weapons

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has released a report on the civil unrest in Turkey this summer that is critical of the police use of tear gas and their treatment of the Gezi Park protesters.

It alleges potentially deadly canisters were fired directly at people.

“When you talk about more than 8,000 injuries that took place over the course of the demonstrations; for example when we spoke to the human rights foundation they said that of the people coming to them, over 60 percent were people who had injuries from being struck by tear gas capsules. So it’s very clear that police – and what we saw from the protest was – that the police were using tear gas capsules as a weapon and not in any way tear gas is designed to be used,” said Amnesty’s Andrew Gardner.

During the Gezi Park protests two years of tear gas supplies were used in less than a week. Ankara is now so worried sales may be embargoed it has tendered for a domestic manufacturer. But some would like to see the canisters banned outright.

“It was like a horror movie. My whole face was covered in blood. Because of the place I was shot I could not breathe. Blood was coming from my mouth, my nose, my ears,” said Hulya Aslan, who lost her eye after being shot in the face with a canister.

Amnesty also said the police had used undue force on many occasions and committed a long list of human rights violations.

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