Main opposition CHP reveals report on jailed deputies

Main opposition CHP reveals report on jailed deputies

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition CHP reveals report on jailed deputies

CHP group head Mehmet Akif Hamzaçebi (L), presents the report alongside CHP deputies Nurettin Demir, Veli Ağbaba and Özgür Özel . DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has released a report in which it aimed to draw attention to the issue of deputies under arrest, presenting updated information regarding the conditions of the imprisoned lawmakers.

The report, titled “The Scream of a Country with a Jailed Will,” calls on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Parliament's chairmanship to lend an ear to the long-standing problem. It accuses them of having been indifferent to the issue since the 2011 general elections, in which nine candidate deputies under arrest were elected to Parliament.

CHP deputy Mehmet Haberal, who was held under arrest for around four years for suspected links with to the Ergenekon network, recently took his oath after being released by the court, while independent candidate Hatip Dicle’s deputyship was cancelled by the election board soon after election, meaning that there are currently seven deputies serving time in jail.

'Against democracy'

“Today, seven veins of the Parliament are blocked. This is Parliament’s problem and it’s in a position that it can’t even solve its own problem. There is no other country in the world that has an arrested deputy problem,” CHP Malatya deputy and spokesperson of Prison Monitoring and Probe Commission Veli Ağbaba said during the press meeting for presenting the report.

The commission formed by three CHP deputies prepared the report based on their visits to deputies jailed in the prisons of Silivri, Sincan, Mardin, Diyarbakır and Şanlıurfa provinces.

The report particularly focuses on two points to highlight the urgency of the issue. Firstly, the CHP deputies criticized the reasons behind the arrest of the deputies, claiming most of these reasons are unlawful. 

Attending the activities of the party he is member of, hosting a party council member of the party he is member of, paying a condolence visit, listening to music in Kurdish, attending a meeting by obeying an order from his superiors, being a relative of another alleged commander, condemning the Halabja massacre, and writing a book about Diyarbakır prison, are some of the reasons mentioned in the report.

Secondly, the report also deals with the problems these jailed deputies face in penitentiaries and violations of their rights.

The deputies suffer from the much-criticized conditions in jail, the report claims, particularly mentioning over-crowding, searches of prisoners’ relatives conducted in intrusive ways, being charged with arbitrary disciplinary punishments for giving political reactions, bad food and inadequate health treatment.