Tag Archives: Police

Turkey’s Police Clash With Hundreds Defying Protest Ban On May Day

Protesters run and protect themselves as riot police use a water cannon against them during a May Day rally near Taksim Square in Istanbul on May 1, 2015

ISTANBUL, May 1 (Reuters) – Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of stone-throwing May Day protesters on Friday, after they defied a ban and tried to march on Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Europe’s biggest city was under a security lockdown as thousands of police manned barricades and closed streets to stop demonstrations at Taksim, a traditional rallying ground for leftists that saw weeks of unrest in 2013.

Riot police unleashed water cannon and chased protesters down side streets in the nearby Besiktas neighborhood and also they also fired off canisters of tear gas, a Reuters reporter said. Demonstrators lobbed stones and bottles at police and set off fireworks.

Istanbul police said nearly 140 people had been detained, although activists said the number was nearly double that. The city’s governor said 6 police officers and 18 protestors had been injured in clashes, which died out as the afternoon wore on and a clean-up operation got underway.

Critics say President Tayyip Erdogan and the government have become more authoritarian in the buildup to June elections.

“People want to express their problems but the government doesn’t want those problems to be heard ahead of elections,” opposition politician Mahmut Tanal, holding a pocket-sized book of the Turkish constitution, told Reuters in Besiktas.

Demonstrators try to protect themselves from water, sprayed by a police water canon truck and tear gas, during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, May 1, 2015

A usually bustling square lined with cafes and hotels, Taksim was filled with police buses, ambulances and satellite broadcast trucks. A pair of tourists emerged from a hotel to find the area sealed off and nervously made their way around police lines.

Much of Istanbul’s public transport had been shut down due to security concerns, and police helicopters buzzed over the city. Tens of thousands also gathered to march in the capital Ankara, where the mood was more festive, with dancing and singing.

A woman reacts as Turkish police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters during a May Day rally near Taksim Square in Istanbul on May 1, 2015

he government had said Taksim would only be open to those who came peacefully and not for “illegal demonstrations.”

“I wish May 1 to be celebrated in a festive mood without provocations,” Erdogan said in a statement.

Opposition parties and unions called on the government to lift the ban.

A protester kicks a tear gas canister during clashes with riot police during a May Day rally near Taksim Square in Istanbul on May 1, 2015

Erdogan has previously dismissed protesters as “riff-raff” and terrorists, outraged by the unrest in 2013 that brought unwanted international attention and posed the biggest challenge to his AK Party since it came to power in 2002.

Recent polls say AKP is on course for another election win in June but he may fall short of the massive victory Erdogan is targeting to allow him to change the constitution and bolster his presidential powers.

Demonstrators challenge riot police officers during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, May 1, 2015.

he 2013 Taksim protests began as a peaceful demonstration against plans to redevelop Gezi Park, a leafy corner of the square. After a police crackdown the demonstration spiraled into weeks of nationwide protests against Erdogan’s rule.

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Those who seized Donetsk prosecutor’s office may be jailed for 5-8 years

DONETSK, April 12, 13:55 UTC+4, ITAR-TASS.
Earlier a group of unknown masked young men with batons in hands broke into the building of the prosecutor’s office

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The Donetsk regional prosecutor’s office confirmed the information that its building was seized overnight.

A group of unknown masked young men with batons in hands broke into the building of the prosecutor’s office. About 40 people began to barricade entrances with furniture. After negotiations, the people left the administrative building.

A criminal case is opened on charges of mass disorders. The Criminal Code prescribes five to eight years’ imprisonment for such actions.

As was earlier reported, unknown people got into the Donetsk regional prosecutor’s office overnight, but shortly after that, law enforcers arrived on the scene and removed all from the building, local media reported.

Meanwhile, a group of unidentified people seized a district police station in Slavyansk, the Donetsk region, on Saturday, an official at the Donetsk regional police department told Itar-Tass on Saturday. “Unknown people have seized a district police station today. They were in camouflage uniform. They remain there now,” he said.

Ukrainian parliament-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has warned about “tough response actions” against those who have seized the police station.

“Armed people in camouflage uniform have seized a district police station in Slavyansk. Response will be very tough here,” Avakov said. A special police group was sent to Slavyansk, he said.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry would respond toughly to attempts to destabilize the situation, especially in the southeast of the country, the ministry said in a statement on its website on Saturday.

“The Interior Ministry will toughly respond to attempts to intentionally destabilize the situation, violation of public order and mass disorders all over Ukraine’s territory, particularly in regions, where special operations are conducted to settle the situation the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions. All who will violate the law, irrespective of declared slogans and party affiliation, will be detained,” the statement reads.

The ministry warned that a “serious” article of the Ukrainian Criminal Code would be applied to organizers of protests.

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Serial shooter suspected near Kansas City as shootings climb to 20

A serial shooter is on the loose in the Kansas City, Mo. area, and authorities announced Thursday the number of roadway shootings they are investigating has risen to 20. Local police currently have no suspects in the case.

Police say that six of the attacks are connected so far. They have asked the federal authorities to help the investigation into the shootings that began March 8.

At least seven of the attacks occurred in the city’s south side, known as the Grandview Triangle, where three interstate highways and US Route 50 intersect. Despite the number of shootings, only three drivers have been injured, but none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

Authorities believe the shots are coming from inside other vehicles, not from highway overpasses. “It appears these vehicles are being shot at from probably another vehicle that’s on the road,” Kansas City Police Captain Tye Grant told local Fox affiliate WDAF.

According to the Kansas City Star, all of the shootings happened near highway ramps or road splits, which would allow the shooter to make a quick getaway in a different direction.

In Leawood, Kansas, a suburb that was the location of one of the shootings, police say the driver noticed the shooter driving a metallic green sedan, wearing a ski mask and sunglasses. One unidentified victim said she was shot by someone in another car who was wearing a ski mask and a hood, ABC News reported.

“I was just driving down the highway and heard a loud noise. Something hit the car, didn’t know what it was, so I pulled over at my first opportunity to kind of see if there was any damage and that’s when I saw the bullet hole,” Tom McFarlin told local ABC affiliate KMBC-TV. His car was hit on I-470 on March 18. While McFarlin was uninjured, another man was hit on I-70 just ten minutes earlier, WDAF reported.

Another victim says that there were no other cars around when her car was hit, and police say they are looking into the possibility that the shooter could be hiding on the ground.

“We are confident that some have occurred from vehicles,” Police Chief Darryl Forté told the Star. “In other cases, we don’t know.”

Jennie Baugher, who thinks she is the 14th victim, was driving a friend home when her car was hit. “There wasn’t another car in sight and we were in the right lane and hit on the right side,” Baugher told ABC News. “It’s really scary to think that somebody is just out here with no regard to what could happen.”

The most recent attack happened on Sunday, when a 56-year-old man was shot in the leg in the Triangle area, the Associated Press reported. The driver, who didn’t want to be named, said he heard two loud bangs and felt a charley horse in his calf. When he put his hand down, he found blood.

Kansas City police, as well as the police from Leawood and two other suburbs where shootings have occurred, are working with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Officials will not say how they connected the six cases, but are using K-9 teams and ballistics experts at the scenes of the crimes.

Police are urging whoever is responsible to end the spree before someone gets more seriously hurt. “You’re not shooting at a car. You’re shooting at a car with a person in there. There’s an intent to cause harm to that person in that car. That’s aggravated assault. Some people call that attempted murder,” Grant told KMBC. “There’s consequences to the person that is doing that act, it might be jail for life, so this is not a game. It has real consequences.”

Police are offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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Shots fired at residence of German ambassador in Athens

the German ambassador to Athens, Wolfgang Dold

ATHENS (Reuters) – Gunshots were fired at the German ambassador’s residence in Athens early on Monday, but caused no injuries or damage, police said.

At least four shots hit the outside metal gate of the residence, which lies behind a security wall on a busy street in a northern suburb of the Greek capital, police said. Investigators have collected 15 spent bullet cases so far.

The police sources said two attackers on foot were involved in the attack, which occurred at about 3.40 a.m. (0140 GMT),

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spoke to the German ambassador to Athens, Wolfgang Dold, after the incident, a police statement said.

Anti-German rhetoric has become common among Greek opposition politicians and anti-bailout groups since the country’s international financial bailout in 2010, due to the harsh austerity policies that accompanied it.

Germany is the biggest single contributing nation to 240-billion euro financial rescue and has been pushing Athens for painful budget cuts and reforms to fix its finances.

The residence was the target of an attack in 1999, when members of the now dismantled extremist group November 17 fired a rocket that hit its roof.

Egypt’s new protest law .

543890Egypt’s presidential spokesman Ehab Badawy revealed in a press conference on Sunday the contents of the cabinet’s protest bill, which was signed into law by Interim President Adly Mansour earlier in the day .

The law consists of 25 articles, which outline in detail the conditions that must be met before a protest, political meeting or march is held. It also details the punishment for violations of the law.

Below is Badawy’s summary of the articles included in the new protest law. The full text will published in Egypt’s Official Newspaper on Monday.

Chapter one: General rules and definitions

Article 1: Citizens have the right to hold and join general meetings, marches and peaceful protests in accordance with the provisions and regulations of the protest law.

Article 2: Definition of general meetings and electoral meetings.

Article 3: Definition of marches.

Article 4: Definition of protests.

Article 5: Prohibits any political gathering in houses of worship, their vicinities or buildings associated with them, in addition to barring houses of worship from serving as meeting points for marches.

Article 6: Participants in protests, meetings or marches are prohibited from carrying any weapons, explosives, fireworks or other items that may put individuals, buildings or possessions in danger.

Wearing masks to hide the face during such actions is prohibited.

Article 7: Violations of general security, public order, or production are prohibited, as well as calling for disrupting public interests.  It also forbids actions which could impact on public services, transportation or the flow of traffic, as well as assaults on security forces or exposure of danger to individuals, public or private possessions.

Article 11: Security forces in official uniform should disperse protests, meetings or marches in the event of a crime at the order of the field commander.

The field police commander can ask a judge to determine the non-peaceful state of a meeting or protest. A decision should be issued immediately.

Article 12:  Security forces must utilise methods of gradual dispersal for protests in breach of the law.

Authorities must first ask participants to voluntarily leave through audible verbal warnings, which should be repeated several times whilst indicating and providing secure paths out of the venue of assembly.

If participants refuse to leave, security forces have the right to use water cannons, batons, and teargas to disperse protesters.

Article 13: In the case of security forces failing to disperse gatherings through afore mentioned measurements, or if violent assaults erupt against security forces, escalatory measures may be taken.

In this case, security forces should first fire warning shots, then escalate by using rubber bullets and finally metal pellets.

If participants use weapons, security forces should respond using means proportional to the danger imposed.

Article 14: The Minister of Interior, in coordination with the concerned governor, should designate a safe space for protesters in front of vital institutions for participants.

Such institutes include government, military, and security buildings, as well as courts, prosecution centres and museums.

Article 15: Protests in certain spacious venues will be allowed to take place without prior notification. Such spaces will be defined by the governor.

Chapter two: Punishments

Article 16: The following states the punishments in the case that earlier articles are violated.

Article 17: Whoever possesses weapons or explosives while participating in a protest, meeting or march could face imprisonment of seven years and pay a fine of between LE100,000 and LE300,000.

Article 18: A participant who it has been proven has received or given money and/or benefits to protests, meetings or marches is to face prison and a fine of between LE100,000 and LE200,000. The same punishment will be imposed on whoever is responsible for inciting such a crime.

Article 19: A participant who violates article 7 in the protest law could face 2 to 5 years of imprisonment, in addition to the possibility of paying a fine of between LE50,000 and LE100,000.

Article 20: Violating articles 5 and 14 or wearing masks while committing a crime during a protest could lead to a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine worth LE100,000.

Article 21: Holding a protest, meeting or march without giving prior notification as dictated by article 8 could result in a fine of between LE10,000 and LE30,0000.

Article 22: For any of the listed crimes, the courts can order the confiscation of tools or money used during protests or marches. However, this article excludes those who act with good intentions.

Chapter three: Procedural provisions

Article 23: Law 14, issued in 1923, is to be annulled, in addition to the cancellation of any laws that contradict the new protest law.

Article 24: The cabinet is to issue decisions regarding the implementation of the provisions of the protest law.

Article 25: This law is to be published in the official Gazette, and will be in effect the day after publication.