Turkey: Harsh police violence against transgender activists

Yesterday evening, on the 6th International Day Against Homophobia, uniformed police forces violently attacked five transgender activists from Pink Life Association in Ankara, Turkey.

The activists were forced out of their private car on unclear motives from the police. Attempting to move away a large crowd of human rights defenders attempting to protect the transgender activists, police officers also kicked the crowd and used pepper spray on the defenders.TurkeyThe arrestees were then forcibly brought to the Esat police station sustaining visible injuries, including bloody mouths and noses. Turkish human rights activists have witnessed police forces attacking the 5 transgender arrestees by kicking and beating them with truncheons. They were held in custody until 06:00am.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights, declared: “Like homophobia, transphobia is not acceptable anywhere, be it inside or outside the European Union. We call for a serious investigation into these acts, and their outright condemnation by police authorities!”

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, further added: “How can Turkey claim to be a true democracy if police forces disregard the rule of law, and attack those it must protect? We call on Turkish authorities to reprimand these police officers, and clearly affirm that LGBT people, and in particular transgender people, must be protected from violence.”

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights strongly condemns the attacks, and will further seek to include mentions of these breaches of human rights by authorities in accession talks between the European Union and Turkey.

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