Turkish police batter workers detained while gathering to make May Day statement

Workers detained while gathering to read out a statement about a ban on May 1, International Workers’ Day, demonstrations were battered by the police at Beylikdüzü State Hospital, where they were undergoing a legally required health check, according to Ali Şeker, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Şeker tweeted that the police attacked the detainees in an area that is not covered by CCTV cameras. He said the officers also mistreated hospital personnel.

The demonstrators are former factory workers who have been protesting dismissal from their jobs due to their membership in the All Automotive and Metal Workers Union (TOMIS).

According to the demonstrators, the authorities are using pandemic regulations as an excuse to curb dissenting voices.

In its annual report published earlier this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the Turkish government for using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for deepening its autocratic rule by banning demonstrations by opposition parties and government critics.

Several Turkish unions said at a joint meeting last week that they would take part in May Day demonstrations despite the bans.

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