ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The United Kingdom’s police watchdog on Wednesday confirmed it would review footage of a Metropolitan Police officer using excessive force against a demonstrator at a rally in London protesting Turkey’s attack on Afrin.
The incident occurred at a pro-Kurdish rally in north London last month where protestors marched in solidarity with the people of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) who are being targeted by Turkish air raids and ground shelling.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a non-departmental public body in the UK which is responsible for addressing complaints made against police, said it hoped to decide by Friday on whether it would open an official investigation against the officer.
Footage circulating on social media showed the officer, a medic with a green badge, repeatedly punching the man who does not appear to be resisting.
Kurdistan 24 was unable to contact the victim who has not been identified by authorities in London.
Meanwhile, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said they were “aware of [the] video posted on social media,” adding that “the Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and is investigating.”
“The video shows a brief part of the event, and we shall be speaking with the officer to establish the exact circumstances of the incident,” the spokesperson explained.
Following the start of Turkey’s military offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin on Jan. 20, tens of thousands of people in Rojava and around the world have taken to the streets to protest the ongoing attacks.