Turkish authorities say 339 people detained during May Day protests

Turkeyrsquos National Police Department has announced that a total of 339 people were detained across the country during May 1 demonstrations in accordance with an internal security package that has recently went into effect.

The National Police Department said in a statement released on Saturday that a total of 339 people were detained by the police on May 1 during Labor Day celebrations and that 50 people were injured, including 25 police officers.

The statement said those detained were held in accordance with a recently approved security package, which has been strongly criticized for giving the police broader authority.

The package granted the Ministry of Interior, governors and district governors extensive powers.

The bill authorized the police to detain, for 24 hours without a court order, anybody who it suspects to be a criminal by maintaining that the suspect was caught in the act.

In cases of social unrest, police will now be able to keep suspects under custody for 48 hours, and the detention period will be able to be extended up to four days on the prosecutor’s instruction.

Opposition parties have blasted the package for not only putting personal freedoms in jeopardy, but also for violating the Constitution.

The package also expanded police officers’ authority in response to protesters who throw Molotov cocktails, authorizing them to fire their weapons at protestors who use them against the police.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN