Turkish law enforcement intervened in 320 peaceful demonstrations across the country and detained at least 2,123 people, violating protestors’ right to assembly, between January and May 2021, according to an İstanbul-based rights group.
A report from the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights has revealed that İstanbul ranked first in the list of cities where police intervened in 123 peaceful demonstrations, followed by Ankara with 56, İzmir with 20 and 18 in Diyarbakır.
The report said in most of the cases the coronavirus pandemic was cited as the reason for the restrictions imposed on the demonstrations.
In a report released in March, Human Rights Watch said government policies and actions in the year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic have precipitated human rights crises around the globe. The 54-page report, “Future Choices: Charting an Equitable Exit from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” documented how the pandemic has laid bare systemic frailties in the protection of basic rights and spurred a cascade of human rights abuses including violation of the right to assembly.