19 indicted for attacking protesters during Erdogan's United States visit

Lucy Bush
August 31, 2017

A grand jury in the U.S. capital has issued indictments for 19 people, including 15 identified as Turkish security officials, for attacking protesters in May 2017.

The goons are accused of conspiring to attack Armenian and Kurdish demonstrators - which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison - as well as assaulting USA law enforcement who tried to intervene.

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian was videotaping live at the scene of the May 16 attack, which took place in front of the Turkish Ambassador's residence where President Erdogan was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with think tank leaders.

On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, over the brawl between protesters and Erdogan's security personnel in May.

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Two of the 19 defendants are now in custody and are due to appear in court on September 7.

Eleven people were injured in the melee outside the Turkish ambassador's residence.

A total of 21 counts of assault and hate crimes based on the victims' ethnicity were leveled against the group by Washington, DC district attorney Channing Phillips.

The indictments, announced on Tuesday, charge the defendants with attacking peaceful demonstrators who were protesting against the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 17.

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Despite the indictments, it is unlikely that most of the defendants will face actual jail time. Most of the attackers, the indictment states, were members of Erdogan's security detail.

After the incident, police briefly detained two Turkish security officials. Turkey has said the security guards have diplomatic immunity.

Washington police struggled to protect the protesters, who did not appear to initiate the attacks, and ordered the Erdogan supporters to retreat.

In footage from the incident Turkish bodyguards can be seen suddenly rushing at the protesters. "Our reaction to the topic has also been conveyed to the USA ambassador to Ankara", the Turkish foreign ministry statement said.

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The charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. ".indictment. -.aug.29, .2017.pdf" target="_blank">indictment also recognized that the attackers "significantly outnumbered" the anti-Erdogan protesters and "blatantly ignored American law enforcement commands to cease the violence".

Other reports by Info About Network

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