US authorities said on Thursday that they have issued 12 arrest warrants for security agents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suspected of having assaulted peaceful Kurdish demonstrators in Washington last month.
These bodyguards and police officers of the Turkish president have been identified on videos, said the capital’s police chief Peter Newsham.
They are accused of being involved in the violence that took place on May 16th in front of the residence of the Turkish ambassador, when the Turkish head of state was visiting the White House with US President Donald Trump.
Mr. Newsham described the fight between Mr. Erdogan’s supporters and Kurdish protestors as “a brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators.”
“In the United States and in Washington in particular, we consider that the faculty of peaceful demonstration is a sacred right,” the police chief said Thursday.
The capital’s police had already prosecuted at least four suspects of Turkish origin, including two Americans and two Canadians.
Sinan Narin, a resident of Virginia, and Eyup Yildirim, residing in the state of New Jersey, are being prosecuted for assault and battery, police said on Wednesday.
According to testimonies and videos, The Turkish security agents, often in dark suits, had assaulted the peaceful protesters, even beating them while they were on the ground.
“The police intervention was risky because there were people carrying guns,” said the chief of police of the capital.
After the violent encounter, US Senator John McCain had called for the expulsion of the Turkish ambassador to the United States.