: Bill of complaint : 2013 / 17
TO THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF ANIMAL RIGHTS, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
As will be seen in the details of our application an appendix, hereby we present our bill of complaint regarding the animals who died and whose rights have been violated during the Gezi Park protests in Turkey. Attached in the Appendix are information that will support our case, hardcopy evidence and the English translations of the official papers that your Court has requested for our application. All translations have been made by the certified translator Çağrı Nur Sert, who is also a member of our association. Our preparation period to apply to your Court has taken about five months; during which we have gathered testimonials and other evidence regarding our aforementioned case. Many people, citizens who have either/both given their testimonials or have rejected to come forward although they did have information, have requested from our association that their personal information be kept secret as they fear the government’s oppression and suppression. As you will see in our association’s “standard” testimonial form, we promise an absolute guarantee of confidentiality. We kindly request of your Court to display the same sensitivity. We kindly introduce our demand that upon our application, the aforementioned government is sued at your Court and present our compliments and respect.
On behalf of the Freedom to Earth Association Board, Hamdi Burak ÖZGÜNER President APPENDIX: 1. Court application form 2. Appendix (Testimonials, photographs, other evidence, offical papers of our association) 3. DVD (one that has the evidence to support our case [photographs, videos] – 1 unit
Yeryüzüne Özgürlük Derneği – The Freedom to Earth Association http://www.yeryuzuneozgurluk.org E-mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
TO THE COURT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF ANIMAL RIGHTS, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Complainant:
H. Burak ÖZGÜNER, as the representative of the Freedom to Earth Association
The Republic of Turkey and the Turkish government ANKARA, TURKEY
Subject: Our demand that the violation of animal rights during the Gezi protests which started in Istanbul and lasted about 4 months is investigated and the Republic of Turkey and the state is exposed and censuredon international platforms by your Court’s discretion for the chaos due to the vicious and heavy gas and blast bombs, use of rubber and real bullets and the systematic state violence/terror during this time period.
The protests known as the “the Gezi Park protests” followed and witnessed by the whole world, were tried to suppressed by the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish state and its security forces who used heavy chemical gas bombs, blast bombs and water cannons that squirted pressurized chemical-water on the protestors. Many NGOs and individuals who were affected by the police violence/terror applied to the relevant authorities and legal authorities regarding the police intervention/attacks that were confirmed to have been “excessive, disproportional and extreme” by the government itself. Recently, even the inspectors of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have confirmed and reported that the police attacks administered by the Prime Minister’s very own directives were “disproportional”. Evidence including testimonials and reports that support our cause is available at the end of our letter of application, at the Appendix and Avernments section.
On September 28th, 2013 our pre-announced press release to declare that our association was to apply to the International Court of Animal Rights regarding the animals who died and whose rights have been violated during the protests was attacked by the government’s police army and our right to freedom of speech and to congrate and demonstrate collateralized by the Turkish Republic’s Constitution as an constitutional right was blocked by a very brutal intervention. As you will see on the CD that we attach here, you will see the members of our association being physically attacked, being run over and as a result of this attack, 14 people were taken under custody in very harsh way. This police attack and violation of rights was presented to the Parliament by Istanbul Parliamentarian Melda Onur as a parliamentary question addressed to 2
MuammerGĂźler, the Minister of Internal Affairs on October 4th, 2013 the World Animal Day and thus has been recorded in the archives of the Parliament.
The movement/protests that continued peacefully spread to many other cities in the country after the atmosphere of conflict and violence created by the Republicâ€™s law-enforcement officers and during this chaos that lasted for months, many animals were mistreated, injured, 3
handicapped, blinded and/or killed by the hands of the very government. National and international legislations approved and signed by the very government were either ignored or overruled. The government has become the subject of suppression, oppression/cruelty and the main responsible party for the violation of rights. As a known fact, the wild and urban life animals have a different pattern of features and behaviors. When exposed to sudden, loud and violent external factors, animals feel an intensive panic and fear and thus experience traumas that they will never be able to forget and move and that will severely affect their daily lives. As a reaction/response to these traumatic emotions, they experience various attacks, respiratory depression, heart attack, allergic reactions, temporary or permanent loss of senses, various injuries and/or handicaps and severe tissue losses and many other physical and psychological damages that may include fatal results leading septicemia and even deaths may occur, as did during Gezi protests.
Although new laws have been added to the regulations list to protect animals and their rights and better their living conditions, recent incidents in Turkey, things we experienced and sufferings of animals that we witnessed indicate that in Turkey, the very existence and the rights of animals are ignored, encroached and violated. Since the date of 28th May 2013, disproportionate brute force and chemical intervention have taken place in many parts of Turkey, especially in Istanbul and the right-to-live of many animals have been taken from them; the most fundamental/sacred right, the right that is accepted as a universal value, the right-tolive has been violated. The Republic of Turkey, via the heavy violence/terror it has been inflicting since the 28th of March (2013), has disregarded the right to live of many urban and wild life animals living in various cities of the country and thus is responsible for the death of the countless animals as a result of every gas and blast bomb it has dropped and the gases that it has spread to the atmosphere and nature, and all of which have been confirmed to be chemical by the Turkish Medical Association. Many NGO that fights for rights â€“including our very own association- have warned the Turkish Republic many times to stop this civil wrongs that constitute a heavy crime against life; yet the Republic has not taken our warning into consideration and has continued the atrocity against all living beings and nature. 4
Istanbul Chamber of Veterinary Medicine (Istanbul Veteriner Hekimler Odası, İVHO) has also issued a declaration stating this following: “Apart from the sad losses, we are aware that many other living being that are also a part of the environment has been hurt and effected and the right to live has been violated. Since the beginning of the incidents/protests, many birds whose inhabitation is the branches of these trees at this park have been affected by the (tear) gas, have been forced to leave their nests and/or have died.”On the press release he has given, the head of the Chamber Prof. Dr. Murat Arslan has remarked that as the Chamber, they have set up a tent at the Gezi Park and provided medical care for the animals. Veterinary Murat Arslan has said it is not possible to give an exact number to the bird losses but on the press release, he has stated that there are “hundreds of dead birds”. Murat Arslan has also added that within the area of the protests, the Chamber is active in service with 16 veterinary clinics and that they are still animals whose treatment is in continue. The violation of right that the Chamber could record has been publicized as below: “The number of the animals whose first treatments have been done in the ‘medical care/nursing tents’ and/or the ones who have been sent to the clinics in the area is as follows: Cat: 80 registers; 9 dead, 8 still in treatment. Dog: 16 registers; 2 dead, 1 still in treatment. Apart from these, many other animals such as sea-gulls, pigeons, rabbits and chicks also have been injured or died of various gases and/or physical traumas. It is also our guess that there are many other animals that have had to flee the area that we still have not been able to reach.”
The film director ZekiDemirkubuz from Turkey has also stated his witnessing regarding the heavy chemical gas during the Gezi Park protests: “Whatever gas they are using, I saw birds falling down off the trees, I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
Prof. Dr. Tamer Dodurka, who is an academic at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Istanbul and an attending psychologist at the Psychology Department of the same university via his thesis themed “Behavioral Disturbances on Dogs”, has written an article for Aktüel, a national journal that is published widely in Turkey. (See Appendix 3)
In addition to the facts above, Turkey is very much infamous on the matter of the violation of human rights. The European Court of Human Rights has convicted Turkey many times with its verdict that the “tear gas is torture and an inhumane treatment”. 6
International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) has stated that “in Turkey, the police has used tear gas adverse to the international norms” and suggested that an investigation on the subject is opened in Turkey, the sale of gas to Turkey is stopped before the responsible parties are tried and an unbiased observer unit is sent to Turkey. Apart from the NGOs that fight for human, animal and ecological rights, many chambers of medicine and institutions have called onto the government highlighting the must to ban the use of tear gas and suchlike chemicals during the interventions of social events. Turkish Medical Association (TTB)and the Chamber of Chemical Engineers from the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB)have many times announced that the tear gas is a CHEMICAL WEAPON and it should be banned immediately. Via the extensive research it has made, TTB describes the long-term and fatal effects of the chemical gasses. About the recent incidents, Turkish Thoracic Society (TTD), Turkish Medical Association (TTB), the Association of Forensic Science Specialists (ATUD), Turkish Psychiatry Association (TPD), the Association of Public Health Specialists (HASUDER) and Turkish Pharmacology Association (TFD) has called for the “abolish the use of tear gas and violence on social events”. While we repeat ourprior demand to ban the use of tear-gas chemicals, we have also called the government to abide by international rights standards and universal values and our call continues. As we have explained above hereby with this application, it is an unacceptable situation to attack on all living beings; whether onto a person or an animal, using weapons and vehicles (cannons) that carries chemical gas. Although the Turkish Republic and the ruling AKP government that is being complained about has accepted that animals do have natural/fundamental rights, the Republic that avoids/passes off the subject with very shallow welfare precautions and thus clearly/publicly displays that it does not accept the rights of the animals, has been legitimatizing the extensively and wastefully exploiting of the animals, them being massacred especially in the last 10 years. Turkish Republic who disregards the international agreements to which it itself is a signatory party, who violates them and who opposes even to its own national legislation, has publicly committed a crime against animals, people, nature and life; has directly caused many animals to be injured, handicapped and/or die and has blocked (their) many rights. We should also mark down that the very same government, apart from its treatment of the animals during the Gezi protests, disregards and disobeys the rights of the animals such as strays and the ones at the zoos, animal circuses, testing laboratories, dolphin parks and slaughterhouses and such. In the light of the information we have stated and conveyed above, we want to press charges against the Turkish Republic who despite the warnings of many parties, especially regarding the suppressing of the Gezi Park protests, who refuses to practice the laws that it very self has legislated; who has disregarded the rights of the animals and subjected them to a forced migration and thus is responsible for the acts of many injustices that led to many deaths, handicaps and injuries.
LEGAL STATEMENTS, LEGAL STATUS AND LEGAL GROUNDS
A. THE REFERENCE TOWARDS TURKISH GOVERNMENT BEING AN ENGAGER TO THE UNIVERSAL DECLERATION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS AND TO THE PROMISE THAT THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE PRIORITY TO INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS ON ITS CONSTITUTION: The Republic of Turkey is an engager to the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights. Apart from this declaration, Turkey’s own national legislation claims to protect animal rights itself. On the constitution of the Republic of Turkey, on the 90/last bylaw, with the addition of the clause via the law number 5170, it is stated that international contracts/agreements that settle the fundamental rights and freedoms that are effective in accordance with the procedure, will be given priority if there is a conflict with the national legislation.
B. TURKISH GOVERNMENT CONTRADICTS ITSELF REGARDING THE ACTS OF INJUSTICES MENTIONED HEREBY: -
The law numbered 5199 Animal Protection Law has been violated:
All law and enforcement regulations included in Turkey’s national legislation, initially the Animal Protection Law numbered 5199, claim to protect the rights of animals. However, when the violation of rights of animals are viewed, it is clearly observed that the national legislation until today has never led to a positive improvement for these rights and/or their practices and the law is very ineffective and nothing but show-piece. Despite the existence of the current legislation, the applications we have made to the government to end the violation of animal rights and for the responsible parties to be found and imposed sanctions; indictments and complaints have not reached a satisfying result. It is because of this very reason that the government itself has become the primary responsible for the violations and let alone placing sanctions by government bodies, that the people who are responsible for persecution are not tried and/or sentenced has led up to many cruelties and new rights violations that are unprecedented and unthinkable, and even encouraged them. For example, in Turkey, raping an animal is just a fine of 437 Turkish Lira (159,13 €). The same law, law numbered 5199, has enjoined the government to protect and look after the animals and to keep them safe from all kinds of maltreatment. However during the Gezi Park protests, we have witnessed that that government, far from fulfilling that obligation, has again become the primary responsible for many irreparable rights violations as it is the government itself who started the violence in the very first place. Clearing off the Gezi Park, re-designing the area as a shopping and thus turning the aforesaid area into concrete blocks will force many wild life and urban animals to migrate. However, the Animal Welfare Law numbered 5199 states that it is fundamental that the “wild life animals are not extracted/torn out of their natural habitats”. Again, according to the very same law it is prohibited to “Mistreating the animals with malice prepense, proceeding on cruel and inhuman acts on them, beating them, leaving them without food and/or water, exposing them to excessive cold or heat, neglect their care and causing them to suffer physical and/or psychological pain”. Many species and breeds of birds have had to leave their habitats that they had lived for generations in the Gezi Park, one of the very rare and few green areas of Taksim, because of the constructions and the chaotic/terror atmosphere and lost their lives and had to experience severe psychological violence due to the violent police attacks.
- The national legislation regarding the use of tear gas and suchlike chemicals has been violated. According to the legislation that regulates the procedure and principles regarding the Law of Private Security Forced numbered 5188 and dated 10/6/2004, the 24th article of the legislation allows the use of chemicals. The allowance/license to keep and bear arms Article 24:“In order to provide protection and security, physical precautions and security equipments are given priority. The commission may allow the use of chemicals that have no permanent effect on live beings proper to the principle of proportionality.” After this legislation became effective, police has begun to use chemicals on various social events. However, as stated in the legislation, the main/fundamental principle on the use of chemical is the “principal of proportionality” and of “having no permanent effect on live beings”. Since there is no sanction in the law regarding the violation of this principal of proportionality, legal action can only be taken within the frame of general provisions for the law-enforcement officers who use excessive chemicals. Although there is such a means, until now, no sanctions have been imposed; yet on the contrary, the Prime Minister of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, the Mayor of Istanbul, along with other government officers and bureaucrats, both via national press and social media have approved these crimes against life and the state terror, and defined many crimes against humanity as “heroic tales”.
C. THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF ANIMAL RIGHTS, TO WHICH TURKEY IS A SIGNATORY COUNTRY, HAS BEEN VIOLATED: The 2nd clause of the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory country states: “a) Every animal has the right to be respected. b) Man, like the animal species, cannot assume the right to exterminate other animals or to exploit them, thereby violating this right. He should use his conscience for the service of the animals. c) Every animal has the right to consideration, good treatment and the protection of man.” The 3rd clause which regulates the prohibition of maltreatment puts in the order: “No animal should be submitted to bad treatment or cruel actions.” The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights has assured rights such as the immunity of the animal body, lead a non-violent life and the right to live. Aforementioned declaration is regarded as an inter-governmental contract that aims to protect the cruelty against animals and to improve their rights. Turkey, as a signatory and party to this declaration, is responsible against the whole world, animals and humanity.
D. THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF PET ANIMALS, TO WHICH TURKEY IS A SIGNATORY COUNTRY, HAS BEEN VIOLATED: Turkish Republic is also a signatory party to the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals as the Turkish Parliament agreed to the contract. The tear and blast bombs used by the government and other interventions that have caused severe damages on living beings have reached from the streets into the homes and working places that are identified as “private property” by the state law and thus caused the suffering of a severe physical violence and psychological trauma onto the pets that lived with the people in their homes. During the many occasions where gas bombs were used either at a target or randomly, windows of many houses have been broken and the pets inside these homes were forced to inhale chemical gasses. Turkish Republic, with this act of injustice, has 9
violated the 3rd clause of this very contract: “Nobody shall cause a pet animal unnecessary pain, suffering or distress.” The basic and fundamental principles of the contract have been ignored and disregarded by Turkish Republic.
E. THE DECLERATION OF BASIC PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME AND ABUSE OF POWER, WHICH DEMANDS THE APPROVAL OF OUR ASSOCIATION’S APPLICANT AND “VICTIM/INJURED” STATUS: The Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power that was adopted by the General Assembly on 29 November 1985, has identified the person who either as a person or collectively has suffered physically or emotionally (mental traumas), has experienced financial loss or whose basic/fundamental rights are severely weakened and thus himself/herself has suffered as “victim/injured party”. Our association, activists, voluntary members have been active on field for the treatment and the protection of the animals that have been injured since the first day of the police attacks. Our members of the association, activist and many volunteers from all around Turkey have had to experience state violence/terror, survived many serious dangers and been threatened as they were trying to rescue the animals who suddenly have found themselves amidst of chemical gas and a terrifying chaos. That animals are not considered as “victims” in the eyes of the nationallegislation has assigned to NGOs such as our association an extra mission regarding the identification and expose of the parties responsible for the violation and encroach of animal rights.
THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION HAS BEEN VIOLATED:
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the most component body today on the chemical weapons, based in Lahey, the capital of the Netherlands. 188 countries are combined in this organization that has been entitled via a special contract by the United Nations on this very subject. As a result of the many international agreements regarding the ban of chemical weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the agreement that is valid today, was presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 1992 by the Secretary General and has become effective when 130 countries signed the agreement within two days when it was opened to signature in Paris on January 13, 1993. This Contract mentioned above is comprehensive enough to answer all the details of the subject and on the appendix part, it includes 3 tariffs that describe which chemicals are to be considered as weapons: The 5th article of the 1st clause of the Chemical Weapons Convention states: “Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare." The 7th article of the 2nd clause describes the “riot control agent” as follows: “‘Riot Control Agent’ means: Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.” The 2nd clause’s 9th article titled “‘Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention’ means” on its (d) sub-clause keeps “Law enforcement including domestic riot control purpose” off its frame.
TheChemical Weapons Convention was published on the Official Gazette – Repeated Issue 1, numbered 22978 on 3/5/1997 after being approved by enactment numbered 97/9320 on 29/4/1997 of the Cabinet, when the Turkish Parliament confirmed the agreement on 4/4/1997 with the law 4238. Turkish Republic submitted the certificate of proof regarding the agreement on May 12, 1997 to the General Secretary of the United Nations that is the guarantor and thus has become a signatory party on June 11, 1997.
THE GENEVA PROTOCOLE HAS BEEN VIOLATED:
Tear gas and its derivatives have been identified as chemical weapons by the Geneva Protocol, the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Geneva Protocol dated 1925 absolutely bans the use of chemical weapons during wartime. The violation of the ban is a crime itself. For a long time, it was a matter of discussion whether the tear-gas types (CS, CN, CR, OC) should be handled within this frame of ban or not.
Tear gas not only overpowers/neutralizes a protestor, but also poisons all innocent and civil beings; people, animals, kids, elderly citizens.
Especially during the recent protests in Turkey, the tear gas cartridge have been fired onto people and animals from a very short distance and with an aim to kill and/or handicap; instead of leveling the weapon with a 45-degree angle towards the sky.
Although the use of tear gas in indoors, tear gasses have been fired into closed areas.
Even during wartimes, hospitals, infirmaries and health officers are not attacked; but during the recent protests, gas bombs were fired into infirmaries and help and care to the people and animals that were injured have been tried to be blocked and thus, a crime against humanity is committed.
Tear gas and its derivates are heavy cancerogenic substances. The government, by smothering all around Turkey with chemical gasses, has violated animals’ right to health and to live like a human being. In this context, the state itself is the primary responsible for the animals being negatively affected amidst the violent and terroric atmosphere created by the government.
H. REGARDING OUR CASE HERE, THERE ARE VERDICTS OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, WHO HAS THE POWER OF SANCTION OVER COUNTRIES, INCLUDING TURKEY: The only legal basis for the use of chemical gas is 16th article of the Law of Police Powers stating that “tear gas may be used” as a tangible power; but on its last verdict regarding the subject, the European Court of Human Rights has announced this to be very inadequate. Besides, regardless of whether the police is trained on this matter or not, the use of tear gas has been solely random and this means of intervention has been used as a weapon by the lawenforcement officers. As a last word, currently, there is no legal ground for the police to use the tear gas which should already be banned. The use of excessive/heavy/disproportionate tear gas by the police, as stated by the European Court of Human Rights is a violation of the ban on torture and mistreatment. On committing this crime, everybody is responsible on the lineage. This responsibility includes all the government bodies/authorities that order/approve the use of tear gas in all around Turkey. Justice that will come in many years should not be waited, but the law should be applied immediately. The amount of indemnity the European Court of Human Rights has appraised should not be paid off from the taxes of the citizens; but should be recoursed among all the responsible parties. This is what the equality law requires.(On the date of 16th July 2013, the European Court of Human Rights has stated its verdict on “Abdullah Yaşa and Others / Turkey” [Case application number: 44827/08] and condemned Turkey once again for violating the prohibition of torture.)
CONCLUSION AND DEMAND
It is vital that there is diplomatically and international pressured applied upon Turkish Republic for the ban of using tear gas, especially for the prevention of rights violations that bear serious consequences. The aforementioned government, who is the executor of the persecution and the systematic violence against animals, should immediately end the rights violations it has caused and prove that it does not consider its very own national legislation and the international declarations and agreements to which it is a signatory party, as a sole piece of paper by fulfilling the obligations. The government should hear the calls that are screaming for it to resign as a reaction to its acts of injustices, which have reached the level of a dictatorship. Our search of justice that we state on every occasion and that we announce as a common demand of the public should be unconditionally accepted. As the citizens of Turkish Republic who are in search of a total liberation for animals, people and nature and as a rights-defender association who operates to construct the conditions for this total liberation, we demand from your Court that the authorities of Turkish Republic and the responsible parties who suffocated living beings with excessive chemical gasses, have turned them into targets and have caused many deaths, be exposed and condemned on international platforms and these incomprehensible and defamatory crimes against animals and life be identified and exposed. Best regards,
On behalf of the Association of Freedom to Earth, H. Burak Özgüner Chairman of the Board 12
APPENDIX and AVERNMENTS I. The Certificate of Receipt arranged by the City Directorate of Associations, the Certificate of Activity given by the City Directorate of Associations to state that our association is still active (2 pages) II. The first page of the Association’s Regulations approved by the City Directorate of Associations (1 page) III. Testimonials regarding the aforementioned complaint IV. Reports and documents (96 pages) a) Amnesty International: GEZI PARK PROTESTS (61 pages) b) Human Rights Association: REPORT on INCIDENTS DURING THE GEZI PARK RESISTANCE 27 MAY 2013-10 JULY 2013 (28 pages) c) Turkish Medical Association: TURKEY MUST END VIOLENT RESPONSE TO PROTESTS (1 page) d) European Parliament Resolution on the Situation in Turkey After the Session Held Concerning Gezi Park Resistance (3 pages) e) The Council of Europe –The press bulletin of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks (1 page) f) European Union – Turkey 2013 Progress Report, part related to the Gezi Park resistance (2 pages, last paragraph on the second page) V. Prof. Dr. Tamer Dodurka’s article on the journal Aktüel (1 page) VI. DVD of evidence, expert and personal opinions, links related to the case and visuals and links of reports of national and international foundations and institutions regarding our case; photos, videos). VII. The translator certificate of oath of Çağrı Nur Sert, a member to the association and who translated the application from Turkish to English, and the photocopy of her ID. (2 pages) VIII. The passport photocopy of H. Burak Özgüner who is applying on behalf of the association. (1 page) Additional evidence will be provided to the Court if requested.
- TESTIMONIALS -
THE FREEDOM TO EARTH ASSOCIATION ISTANBUL, TURKEY
NOTICE FORM FOR VIOLATION OF RIGHTS “Testimony” Name-Surname: City: Place of incident (address, location etc): Time of incident: Types of violation: [ ]Violation of the right to live (death after trauma; death following a heart attack, respiratory depression, excitation etc because of pepper gas, sound bomb or fireworks; sudden deaths; witnessing animal corps in the street) [ ] Violation of the right to live in safety without any torture with bodily integrity, crime against life (Traumatic wounds due to police violence or conflict; tissue losses; limb losses; crippling; witnessing panic cases) [ ] Other (Please state clearly) …..……………………………………………………… ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... The specie that is violated:
[ [ [ [
] Dog ] Cat ] Bird ] Other ( Please state: ………….. )
If violated animal is taken to a health unit, clinic or infirmary by you or other person to receive first aid/medical support, please state name, address, contact info (and if mobile, location) of this health unit: *If possible, please attach the epicrisis report regarding the violated animal provided by voluntary veterinary/health official. It is vital for this report to be on an official crested paper of health unit and carry diplom number of signatory person and official stamp.
Your testimony (Detailed explanation): ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... .........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Date of testimony: … / … / 2013 Name – Surname: City: 15
[ [ [ [ [
] Additional papers ] Photograph ] Video ] Report ] Other (Please state: ............................................)
*Please attach your testimony and any evidence that can support our appeal to International Court of Justice for Animal Rights.
In case we need to contact you for your testimony: E-Mail address: Telephone: Thank you for your precious testimony. Your personal views and contact information will not be shared with any person or institution other than International Court Of Justice for Animal Rights. Freedom to Earth Association undertakes all responsibility for your privacy. Your testimony will be used in hearing and in communication materials without disclosing your personal information only for creating public awareness and reporting statistical data. We kindly request you to send this form filled and with attachments if possible to email@example.com as soon as possible. You can directly write your testimonial in English, French, German or make your testimonial translated by one of your acquaintance to save us time. Thank you for not remaining silent. Regards,
YERYÜZÜNE ÖZGÜRLÜK DERNEĞİ – Freedom to Earth Association
- PHOTOGRAPHS -
An article on the effects of tear gas by Tamer Dodurka, an academic at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Istanbul. Also available at Appendix 3, at the end of the main case file document. Source: http://www.aktuel.com.tr/ozel/2013/06/15/biber-gazindan-etkilenen-hayvanlara-neyapilabilir These gases cause irritation and inflammation in respiratory track and mucosa. Eyes, nose, throat an the part of the skin it contacts, are the areas that are most effected. If these gases reach into eyes, they may cause permanent blindness. The animal, at first, feels a panic due to matters such as unnatural/abnormal voices/sounds and the loss of sight because of smoke. In addition to this, if you can imagine the animalâ€™s face and eyes will be suddenly burning and s/he will experience a period of blindness, you can guess the level of panic the animal will go through. Birds especially have a high heart rate even on normal conditions; during such panic times, their hearts beat much faster and this may cause it to stop beating. The ones who do not die, may hit around as they fly unconsciously; may fall into holes; may be run over by cars and/or may stumble and break their bones as a result of a fall. All these are psychological effects. What about the physical consequences? The startling effect of the gas may cause contractions in the throat, cardiac or respiratory arrest, blood pressure going up and/or death resulting from a severe oedema in the lungs. One of the most important effects is that it (the gas) causes distentions in the nose and throat. These swellings make it harder to breath. If the animal, who is already suffering from high heartrate, experience difficulty in breathing, s/he may die of heart failure. And some animals (brakiosefalic breeds) already have difficulties breathing due to the structure of their nose and throats. Tear gas is deadly especially for these animals. Apart from these, animals who experience breathing/respiratory track problems, are more affected by tear gas because of the distentions in their throats. Again, animals who has allergic bodies may die of anapylactic shock. Infections caused by tear gas and that have no cure in nature may spread on stray animals and cause death due to lack of care and/or treatment (control). Tear gas also affects the cornea of the eye, and thus may need treatment as well. Unfortunately, animals in nature (ones who are not treated) will suffer from blindness.
OUR APPLICATION TO THE CHAMBER OF VETERINARY SURGEONS OF ISTANBUL. Our application to the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons of Istanbul has until now not been replied in either a positive or negative way. All the veterinary clinics who have stated that they would provide voluntary care and treatment for the animals who were injured during the Gezi protests have been visited and spoken to. However some veterinarians at these clinics have told us (“verbally”; not officially or in any written form) that because of the government oppression they feel, they cannot help us with any kind of documents or reports regarding the animals injured or died during the protests. No veterinary clinic, including the very Chamber could dare to face the consequences of such coming forward when it comes to government’s oppression. As a result, we could not gather or did not receive any official reports from any of the clinics whose names you will come across in the file. Subject: Document request Article: 2013 / 15 To The Board of the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons – İSTANBUL, As you know, during Gezi Park protests many animals have died, been injured and/or been effected badly of the heavy gas attacks and chaos that we all suffered due to the police intervention. Our association, an independent NGO, is active on the fields of human and animal rights along with ecology and will carry the rights violations that took place during the Gezi Park protests to the International Court of Animal Rights. As we make our application to the court, we believe that in addition to all evidence we can gather to support our case, any kind of report that the veterinary clinics who volunteered to treat the aforementioned animals can provide, will strengthen our cause. We kindly request of you, the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons, to send us your evaluation of the situation and/or an official report of the incidents in a form –the one that suits you- that we can present as a support to our application to the Court. Kind regards,
Burak ÖZGÜNER The chairman of the Board Freedom to Earth Association
Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6143/236.1.full Turkey Must End Violent Response to Protests
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reported that 8121 people were officially admitted to hospitals resulting from police violence between 31 May and 26 June (1). This number includes 5 deaths, 61 life-threatening injuries, 104 head traumas, and 11 ophthalmic injuries, one of which led to loss of an eye due to shots of tear gas canisters from short range (1). Turkish police have used excessive amounts of tear gas (lachrymatory agents) in public (2) and confined spaces such as hospitals or infirmaries, according to international media reports and the TTB (1â€“4). Such use of asphyxiating gases in confined spaces is not only extremely dangerous for public health (5â€“8), but also strictly limited by international agreements, such as the Geneva Protocol (9), to which Turkey is a signatory. Security forces have used 130,000 tear-gas cartridges in 20 days, and Turkey is planning to buy 100,000 new cartridges (10). Doctors and nurses treating patients affected by tear gas and other police brutality, as well as the Istanbul Medical Chamber General Secretary, have been apprehended by police (11, 12), a clear violation of customary international and human rights law (13). More than 4000 academics around the world have already signed a petition to protest the police brutality (14). We call upon the Turkish government to obey international law in the treatment of protesters and those providing medical treatment to them, and to start a good-faith dialogue with the protest movement.
Links related to the case and visuals and links of reports of national and international foundations and institutions regarding our case:
A. Amnesty International: GEZI PARK PROTESTS B. Human Rights Association: REPORT on INCIDENTS DURING THE GEZI PARK RESISTANCE 27 MAY 2013-10 JULY 2013 C. European Parliament Resolution on the Situation in Turkey After the Session Held Concerning Gezi Park Resistance D. The Council of Europe –The press bulletin of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks E. European Union – Turkey 2013 Progress Report, part related to the Gezi Park resistance (last paragraph on the second page)
Our demand that the violation of animal rights during the Gezi protests which started in Istanbul and lasted about 4 months is investigated...