Injuries reported after Kurdish marchers clashed with police with half a mile remaining in their four-day walk from London.
A group of Kurdish activists who arrived in Newport on Friday were blocked by police officers on Chepstow Road where violence broke out, with at least four injuries reported by attendees.
The protesters were traveling to the Kurdish Community Centre where Imam Sis is on his sixty-first day of a hunger strike.
Kurdish hunger strikers are demanding that their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, be released from isolation in a Turkish prison.
“We had one mile left to walk,” says organiser Mehmet Aksoy. “When the police arrived we tried to explain, and helped them with traffic direction.
“They weren’t listening, and began provoking us,” says Askoy.
— Hannah Liddle (@hjliddle) February 15, 2019
Chief Inspector Sarah Davies said in a statement that, “Officers attended to facilitate a peaceful protest and manage traffic in the area. Minor disorder was reported at the scene, involving a small number of protesters at a police cordon. However, no injuries were reported and no arrests made.”
Aksoy, however, had baton marks across his stomach where he said police struck him.
“Without reason they started attacking us,” says Aksoy. “Four or five of my friends were injured in the police attacks.”
Shubham Shukla, Ananya Das, Vinayak Shanka Sharma, Sam Westlake, Anrag Jain, Syed Abubaker, Yudan Li and Hannah Robertson contributed to this report.