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    'Travesty' of Justice: Watchdog Slams DC Court Over Dropping 'Hate Charges'

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    The decision by US authorities to reduce hate crime charges against two individuals who pleaded guilty to assaulting Kurdish protesters near the Turkish Embassy in DC is a travesty of justice, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) said in a statement.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Thursday, at the DC Superior Court, Eyup Yildirim and Sinan Narin pleaded guilty to beating peaceful demonstrators during a clash in May in front of the US Ambassador to Turkey’s residence, the Armenian Weekly (AW) reported, citing witnesses who attended the hearing.

    "Travesty: Plea agreement would drop all hate/bias charges, resulting in only a 12 month + 1 day sentence for May 16 attack at Turkish ambassador's residence," ANCA said in a Twitter post.

    In late August, 19 people were indicted for the brawl, 15 of whom were part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail. Videos of the incident showed Erdogan's bodyguards hitting and kicking protesters as the Turkish president looked on from his car. At least nine people were injured in the attack.

    Just days after the brawl, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a non-binding resolution condemning the incident while other members of Congress urged the Trump administration to expel Turkey's Ambassador and suspend military aid to Ankara.

    The Turkish embassy released a statement in the wake of the clashes blaming the altercation on the protestors who were supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    Washington Kurdish Institute Policy Director Yousif Ismael told Sputnik that the incident allows Congress and the entire US government to see firsthand how even in DC pro-Erdogan forces can silence democracy — just as they do in Turkey.

    The final sentencing for Yildirim and Narinis is set for March 15 at the DC Superior Court.

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    Tags:
    guilty plea, hate crimes, charges, clashes, protest, brawl, turkish embassy, Armenian National Committee of America, Yousif Ismael, United States
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