Opposition HDP spokesperson Baydemir briefly detained in Turkey’s Diyarbakır
DİYARBAKIRPolice on June 2 briefly detained Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Osman Baydemir in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır as part of an ongoing case in which he is accused of “insulting public servants,” Doğan News Ageny has reported.
The detention reportedly took place as the HDP deputy was present at a commemoration event organized in front of a Diyabakır court for Tahir Elçi, the late head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association who was killed by gunmen November 2015.
Police took Baydemir into the Diyarbakır court, where he gave his testimony to the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office before he was released later on the same day.
The case relates to an alleged offense on Nov. 3, 2012, when a group of 30 people, including then-Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Baydemir, gathered in front of the Diyarbakır provincial building of the Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) – whose entire parliamentary caucus joined the HDP in 2014 – and staged a sit-in protest at the entrance to the governor’s office.
An indictment later filed against him said Baydemir and those with him were “warned to leave the garden premises,” but he refused to leave the governor’s office and instead addressed security forces and insulted them for doing their jobs.
The prosecutor’s office demands a jail sentence of between one and three years against the HDP spokesperson on charges of “insulting public servants on account of their position.”
On May 30, Baydemir failed to attend a hearing despite a court order, after which the Diyarbakır Fourth Penal Court of First Instance issued an arrest warrant for the deputy.
The HDP deputy’s lawyer, Serdar Çelebi, told the court that Baydemir had a busy schedule as the party’s spokesman and was in Ankara to deliver a speech at the party’s parliamentary group meeting.