WASHINGTON — The House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 25 unanimously adopted House Resolution 354 condemning the violence against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017, and calls for measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) was joined by Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in introducing H.Res. 354, requesting “the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”
On the passage of H.Res. 354, Royce said: “Armed members of President Erdogan’s security detail savagely beat, choked and kicked protesters in a will not allow any foreign government to stifle the rights of our citizens.”
H.Res. 354 says that “any Turkish security officials who directed, oversaw, or participated in efforts by Turkish security forces to illegally suppress peaceful protests on May 16, 2017, should be charged and prosecuted under United States law.” The Resolution continues: “the United States should take steps to strengthen freedoms for the press and civil society in countries such as Turkey, and combat efforts by foreign leaders to suppress free and peaceful protest in their own countries.”
Shocked to see Erdogan’s thugs attacking peaceful protesters, Engel stated: “I had been invited, actually, to go to that meeting at the Turkish Embassy. I didn’t go, and I’m glad I didn’t go because I was just horrified when I heard what happened…This Resolution calls for those responsible to face justice. This is a much bigger issue. We’ve seen a troubling pattern from Turkey in recent years, but if Turkish government officials come to our country and try to stifle American democracy and freedom of speech, there must be consequences.”
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian offered powerful testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, calling for a clear and decisive US response to the May 16th brutal beatings of peaceful American protesters.
Hamparian, whose live videotape footage from the attack was shown during the hearing, explained “What [Erdogan] ordered on the streets of our capital provides a small insight — a chilling insight — into the types of violence visited every day upon the citizens of Turkey, far from our city, away from our cameras. Those are the facts. That’s where we are.”