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Protesters, Beaten by Erdogan Guards in Washington, File Lawsuits Against Turkey

Twenty people who had been beaten by mostly guards of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and pro-Erdogan supporters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s Residence in Washington D.C. last year filed lawsuits against the Turkish government, seeking compensation for the injuries they sustained during the melee.

On Thursday, 15 pro-Kurdish protesters, the majority of whom are U.S. citizens, filed complaints in the U.S. District Court. Separately, five other victims previously lodged lawsuits on May 3, seeking $100 million.

When President Erdogan visited the U.S. capital in May last year, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Embassy to protest the crackdown on Kurds in Turkey. A video featuring President Erdogan ordering and watching his guards beating protesters spurred a bipartisan reaction from the U.S. political spectrum.

It prompted Arizona Senator John McCain to call expulsion of the Turkish Ambassador to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. House of Representatives issued a condemnation of the action of the Turkish guards. Later U.S. prosecutors opened a legal probe into the incident and directed charges against Erdogan’s guards. Two Turkish-American supporters of Erdogan who involved in the brawl were sentenced to one year in prison.

In total, 19 people, 15 of whom were Turkish security officials, were indicted by U.S. prosecutors. However, the U.S. federal authorities this year dropped charges against President Erdogan’s 11 guards.

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