A recent report by Turkey's Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) has revealed that a total of 4,771 violations took place between 2015 and 2019 in Turkey concerning the right to assembly and demonstration.
The report said that 20,071 people were detained and 662 people were arrested as a result of their participation in demonstrations during this period.
Turkish prosecutors filed a lawsuit against 4,907 people for using their right to assembly within these four years, 999 of whom were sentenced to 13,370 months in jail in total.
The protestors were mostly accused of “violating the law on demonstrations,” “conducting terror propaganda,” "insulting the President,” “resisting against police forces,” “damaging public property” and “membership to a terror organization.”
A total of 4,907 protestors were exposed to police violence, 90 of whom were injured by police fire and 19 of whom lost their lives during this period. Of the 19 people who lost their lives, 15 were shot by a firearm, two died as a result of intense tear gas and one was shot by gas canister.
Some 98 percent of the rights violations occurred concerning demonstrations that were held in the open area.
It was mostly during protests held over the dismissal of public officials through statutory decrees (KHKs) and Kurdish issue that police violence occured, according to the report.
The report said that restricting someone's right to assembly also limits their right to freedom of speech and that collective actions are one of the most important ways to spread and deepen democracy in a country.
“The destruction process of democracy which we are de facto experiencing in Turkey, shows itself also in the intense and systematic violations against the right to assembly and demonstration,” the report said.