Parliament speaker to intervene over visit restrictions for jailed HDP MPs
Rıfat Başaran - ANKARA
Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman will hold meetings with Turkey’s justice minister, prime minister and other government officials to convey complaints from jailed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies about restrictions on prison visitations.
“Our parliamentary speaker has said he will hold necessary meetings with the minister, the government, and the prime minister, adding that this is an injustice and prison visits should be permitted,” Deputy Parliament Speaker Yaşar Tüzün said on Dec. 14 in a late night session at parliament.
Tüzün’s response came after HDP lawmakers have brought the issue to the attention of parliament during the Grand Assembly meeting on budget discussions.
HDP Deputy Group Chair Filiz Kerestecioğlu stated that HDP lawmakers have not been given permission to visit imprisoned HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş and other eight imprisoned HDP deputies.
Kerestecioğlu noted that there have been 95 separate hearings for different cases on Demirtaş and all of his requests to attend these the hearings in person have been denied for various reasons.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Group Chair Özgür Özel voiced support for Kerestecioğlu.
“We [as the CHP] have visited all imprisoned lawmakers from three different parties and we could all receive the permission in a reasonable time,” Özel said.
“But HDP lawmakers haven’t been able to visit their own co-leader for months. Whenever the justice minister is asked they say they are treating ‘every party equally,’” he added.
Following the comments, Tüzün said all four deputy speakers held a meeting last week, during which the HDP’s Deputy Speaker Pelvin Buldan brought the issue to the agenda.
“Buldan personally attended that meeting. I want you to know we will pursue this demand personally to correct this injustice and this victimization,” she added.