Turkey: Police attack journalists during LGBTI Pride Parade

Several journalists and press photographers were prevented last 28 June from doing their job while covering the use of tear gas and water cannon by the police against demonstrators before the starting of the LGBTi Pride Parade in Instanbul.

The 13th edition of the Istanbul LGBTi (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) Pride Parade was authorised and scheduled to start on Sunday at 5 pm at Taksim Square but the demonstration had “suddenly been banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office using the month of Ramadan as the reason without any announcement,” according to the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week Committee.

Tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets have been used against LGBTi activists. Journalists and press photographers were also targeted in order to prevent them from reporting the use of violence against the people.

Çiçek Tahaoğlu (Bianet journalist) and Yıldız Tar (editor at KAOS GL magazine) have been attacked and threatened by police officers when they were filming the arrest of young trade unionists. An unidentified press photographer has been hit at the eye while covering the events.

“Turkish authorities must start an investigation against police officers who used physical violence and threats against media professionals”, said Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS). The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional organisation the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the use of violence against peaceful LGBTI demonstrators and supported its affiliate TGS in asking legal follow-up against police officers using violence against journalists and media workers. 

The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, also condemned the violence exerted by the police against the participants to the Istanbul Pride and has called the authorities to take measures to punish those responsible.


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