Opposition HDP MPs detained for failing to testify: Prime Ministry
ANKARAEleven lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been detained for failing to appear in response to summons by prosecutors asking for testimony in a terrorism propaganda case, a government office said in a written statement early Nov 4.
The Directorate General of Press and Information of the Prime Ministry said the co-chairs of the HDP, Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, were taken into custody in Ankara and in Diyarbakir, respectively.
The constitutional immunity from prosecution was lifted for all parliamentarians in a vote in May, although the HDP was affected most severely by the move, with a large number of its MPs facing cases for alleged terrorist propaganda.
In accordance with the orders given by Chief Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Van and Bingöl, HDP lawmakers Ferhat Encü, Leyla Birlik, Selma Irmak, Abdullah Zeydan, İdris Baluken, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Ziya Pir, Gülser Yıldırım and Nursel Aydoğan were detained in addition to Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ, it said.
Faysal Sarıyıldız and Tuğba Hezer Öztürk could not be detained by Turkish authorities because they are currently abroad. Legal processes against two more HDP deputies, İmam Taşçıer and Nihat Akdoğan, are currently ongoing.
“As known, those who refuse to respond to summons by prosecutors asking for their testimony in probes and hence break the laws are taken into custody so as to take their testimony. The constitutional amendment on lifting the parliamentary immunity of parliament members passed with 376 votes at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in May without a need to hold a referendum,” read an announcement issued by the directorate.