The US Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a request from the Turkish government to dismiss two civil lawsuits against it. The lawsuits allege that demonstrators were injured by Turkish security forces during a 2017 protest in Washington, DC. Turkey appealed on the basis of immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.Foreign Sovereign Immunity limits the jurisdiction of American courts against foreign governments. The act states that a foreign state waives its right to immunity from jurisdiction of US courts if monetary damages are sought against it for tortious act resulting in injury or death. Andreas Akaras, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, argues that “there is no exception to jurisdiction for the conduct of the Turkish agents, essentially to attack peaceful protestors.” The lower courts agreed with Akaras’ argument. However, Turkey argues that the ruling “invites reciprocal erosion of immunity for U.S security agents protecting American presidents and diplomats overseas”.In 2017, several protestors gathered to demonstrate outside of the Turkish Ambassador’s residence during President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Washington, DC. Members of Erdogan’s security detail used force against the protestors, who claim that they were demonstrating peacefully. 20 total plaintiffs brought two lawsuits against the Turkish government. The lawsuits detail injuries such as concussions and lost teeth and seek monetary damages.

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