NEWS

Top US legislators call on Blinken to refuse immunity to Turkish security in DC attack

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The leaders of both the Senate and House Foreign Relations committees, have issued a call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to assert that foreign security detail does not enjoy immunity when it engages in unlawful acts on US territory.

The call by the Democratic Chairmen and Republican ranking members of the two legislative bodies refers to a pending case in a US court against Turkey brought by a group of protesters who were beaten by Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s security personnel during his visit to the White House in 2017.

Senator Bob Menendez, Representative Gregory Meeks, Senator Jim Risch and Representative Michael McCaul of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee co-signed the bipartisan letter after learning that the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has invited the Departments of State and Justice to express the views of the United States on this case, and in particular on the :source and scope of any discretion afforded to foreign security personnel with respect to taking physical actions against domestic civilians on public property.”

“We urge you to make clear that the principle that foreign security personnel should not enjoy immunity under the FISA for engaging in unprovoked assaults on peaceful protestors lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights in the United States,” the letter signed by the four legislators states.