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H.Res. 354: Condemning the violence against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017, and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

H.Res, 354 summarizes the incident outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017. Specifically, the resolution notes: 1) Armed members of Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail acted to suppress the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens by beating, kicking, and choking unarmed demonstrators; 2) The demonstrators did not instigate the violence and at no time was President Erdogan in danger; 3) Two Turkish security officers were briefly detained and then released as they held Derived Head of State immunity, but a joint criminal investigation into the actions by those Turkish security officers is ongoing; 4) This is one of several instances where Turkish security officials attached to President Erdogan’s protective detail physically assaulted protestors as well as journalists on U.S. soil.

This measure resolves that: 1)The right to peacefully assemble and protest are essential to the fabric of American democracy; 2) Turkish security forces acted unprofessionally and any security officials who direct, oversaw or participated in the violence against protestors should be charged and prosecuted under U.S. law; 3) U.S. Secret Service and Diplomatic Security Service at the Department of State should review the incident and confirm with Turkish security officials the expectations for operating on U.S. territory, review Diplomatic Security procedures to evaluate ways to mitigate likelihood of similar incidents in the future, and immediately request the waiver of immunity of any Turkish security detail official engaged in assault in the United State prior to their release from custody; and 4) The U.S. should take steps to strengthen freedoms for press and civil society around the world.

Last updated Jun 5, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 6, 2017.

Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that: (1) the rights to peacefully assemble and freely express one's views are essential to American democracy; and (2) the United States should take steps to strengthen free press and civil society freedoms in countries such as Turkey.

Calls for: (1) any Turkish security official who directed or participated in efforts by Turkish security forces to suppress peaceful protests outside of the Turkish Ambassador's residence in Washington, DC on May 16, 2017, to be charged and prosecuted under U.S. law; (2) the Secret Service and the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State to review such incident and confirm with the Turkish National Police the standards expected by visiting security details; (3) the State Department to request the waiver of immunity of any Turkish security detail official who engaged in assault in the United States prior to such individual's release from custody; and (4) the State Department to review its security procedures to mitigate the likelihood of such an incident in the future.

Declares that U.S. respect for free speech requires U.S. officials to speak out against such incidents.