Istanbul’s Pride parade was disrupted by the riot police on Saturday, as they fired water cannons and rubber bullets at those who had peacefully gathered to celebrate.
As LGBT people and allies celebrated a particularly historic Pride weekend all over the world, the scene at Istanbul will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Riot police opened fire with water cannons and rubber bullets in an effort to disperse the thousands gathered who were celebrating diversity. It is unknown as to why police were shutting down the gathering, as it has been held in Istanbul in previous years without consequence. Some suggest that this year’s march coinciding with the observance of Ramadan in the conservative Islamic country may have played a part.
Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director commented, “We have received reports that several marchers were severely injured and we hope that they make a full and speedy recovery.
“ILGA-Europe condemn this unprovoked violation of the right to freedom of assembly by the Turkish government and the police. It is highly regrettable that, while political support for LGBTI fundamental rights is growing amongst the opposition, the government is lashing out against peaceful marchers.”
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