Jailed HDP co-chair, MP submit new petitions demanding end to handcuff use during transfers
REUTERS photoThe jailed co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, and party deputy Abdullah Zeydan have submitted fresh petitions to the Parliament Speaker’s Office and the Justice Ministry, demanding an end to handcuffing during their transfers to courts and hospitals.
“Gendarmerie officials and security personnel at the prison where I am being held say the handcuffing implementation is not their own discretion and the order comes from ‘high-ranking authorities.’ I think you have the obligation to know who those ‘high-ranking authorities’ are, as they are committing a crime by giving this order about a member of parliament whose immunity is ongoing. What motive do they give those orders with?” Demirtaş stated in his petition.
The co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused HDP, Demirtaş has been in jail on terror charges in the northwestern province of Edirne since Nov. 4, 2016. He faces dozens of years in jail if convicted, and he has been participating in the hearings in several provinces through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS).
Last month, Demirtaş’s request to be physically present for a hearing in the capital Ankara was accepted but he did not attend after he refused to be handcuffed.
In addition to Demirtaş, former HDP co-chair and lawmaker Figen Yüksekdağ and nine party deputies are also in jail on charges of terrorism and face hundreds of years in prison.