Trial through teleconference is ‘torture’: HDP co-chair

Trial through teleconference is ‘torture’: HDP co-chair

Trial through teleconference is ‘torture’: HDP co-chair

AFP photo

One of the co-chairs of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, has said participating in trials through the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS) is “torture,” adding that it is also “an unlawful practice.”

Demirtaş, who is currently being held in a jail in the northwestern province of Edirne, also said it had become impossible for him to attend court hearings physically due to the high number of complaints filed against him, adding that he was forced to defend himself through SEGBİS.

“I’m the co-chair of Turkey’s third biggest party,” Demirtaş told the court on March 16 during a hearing held in the southern province of Mersin regarding a case against him for “insulting” then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in a speech. 

“Our other co-chair was discharged with a judicial operation. It’s a crime. The judiciary shouldn’t become a tool to this crime. Everyone should know that we will be respectful toward a fair judiciary. However, everyone should also know that because those who are holding power are spreading fear, we won’t be afraid,” he also said, referring to HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, who was stripped of her parliamentary post. 

Noting that he hoped that the court only feared “justice and God,” Demirtaş demanded the end of the trial process.

“What the court needs to do now is stop the prosecution, take seriously the fact that the amendment to lift immunities violated the constitution and apply to the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Demirtaş faces up to four years and eight months in prison for “insulting and openly humiliating the government of the Turkish Republic, the judicial organs and the military or police.”