Beating of U.S. Protesters by Turkish Security
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To the Editor:
Re “Erdogan’s Guards Will Be Charged in Beating of Protesters, U.S. Officials Say” (news article, June 15): The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” We in the nation’s capital concur. All people — whether wearing a pink hat on a Saturday in January or standing outside of an embassy on a spring day — should be able to peacefully assemble and have their voices heard.
On Thursday, my administration announced that 18 individuals, including 12 members of the Turkish security detail, have been charged or are facing charges stemming from a vicious physical altercation that occurred during a peaceful protest outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington on May 16.
By issuing arrest warrants for the 12 Turkish government agents involved in the brutal and unprovoked attack, we send a clear and unambiguous message that no one — not even the security force of a foreign leader — is above the law.
The actions of those Turkish security officials and their supporters were a reprehensible attack on a core American value: the right to assemble and protest peacefully. While brutal attacks against peaceful demonstrators may be tolerated in authoritarian countries, they will not be tolerated in the United States. My administration will continue to work with our federal partners and do all we can to assist in bringing these individuals to justice.
MURIEL BOWSER, WASHINGTON
The writer is the mayor of Washington.