Turkish Court Rules Peaceful Demonstrators Do Not Need Permission

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An Istanbul court that acquitted 26 people detained during the Gezi Park protests in the summer of 2013 has stated in its reasoned ruling that people do not have to get official permission for peaceful demonstrations, and demonstrations held without permission are not necessarily violent. Judge Onur Özsaraç referred to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the court’s 17-page reasoning, saying that “all states member of the convention pledges to comply with it, so that the convention becomes part of the domestic law.” The justification also recalled ECHR decisions on Turkey in which it found Turkey guilty over the excessive use of force by the police and said the police must refrain from using violence against demonstrators. More information is available here.


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