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Charges Dropped Against Turkish Guards On Eve Of Talks With Turkish Leader

by Countable | 3.26.18

What’s the story?

Following a May 2017 clash between protesters in D.C. and members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security team that put multiple protesters in the hospital, 15 members of that security team were charged with assault and other crimes. The House introduced a resolution condemning the violence. And yet, now charges against 11 of the 15 have been dropped -- the last batch on the eve of diplomatic talks with Turkey.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in November prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss charges against four of those accused. On February 14 they asked for the dismissal of charges against seven more, the day before then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was headed to Ankara for talks with the Turkish leader.

The cases against the defendants supposedly unraveled due to misidentifications and lack of evidence, but Tillerson was also reported to have noted the dismissals to Erdogan as a sign of the U.S. "addressing his grievances". One of the accused was the head of Erdogan’s security team.

None of the dismissals were announced publicly.

Charges are still pending against four members of President Erdogan’s security team, as well as two Canadians involved in the incident. Two Americans involved and subsequently arrested are awaiting sentencing.

What do you think?

Should the dismissals have been announced? Should the federal government still press for extradition of the foreign nationals involved in the incident? What is the balance between civil rights and international diplomacy?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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