A Kurdish protester required hospital treatment on Sunday night (27th November) after falling unconscious, having been hit on the head from behind by a police baton. Footage and images taken on the scene show the man lying flat out on the floor, covered in a space blanket. Despite the seriousness of his condition, witnesses have stated it took between two to three hours for an ambulance to reach him, despite repeated requests. Witnesses further stated they were informed by the Ambulance Service that an ambulance had been turned away by the police.
The protest, a counter demonstration to a Turkish nationalist march, was peaceful until the police assaulted a well known community journalist, causing objections from the crowd. Batons were drawn, and, according to witnesses, people were shoved, pushed and hit. Protesters were kettled, with many searched, photographed and forced to give details before being allowed to leave.
Val Swain, from Netpol: The Network for Police Monitoring stated:
“We are appalled to hear the police, not only failed to facilitate prompt treatment of a seriously injured man, but actively delayed treatment occurring. This neglect could have led to devastating consequences.
“Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of attempts by the Metropolitan Police to repress and silence the Kurdish community. In the last two months alone, the Halkevi Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre in Hackney has been raided by anti-terrorism officers, and armed police have raided the Kurdish tent at Occupy LSX. There have been no charges from either raid, and this intimidation of a community must not be tolerated.”