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PES delegation supports Demirtaş at hearing in Turkey


08 Jan 2020



A PES delegation led by Deputy Secretary-General Giacomo Filibeck attended the hearing of Selahattin Demirtaş at the Sincan prison in Ankara today.

At the time of his detention in 2016, Demirtaş was the Co-Chair of the PES associate party Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP).

PES Deputy Secretary-General Giacomo Filibeck said:

“We are here to tell our friends from HDP and all Turkish citizens that we are with them, that we will not turn a blind eye on the illegal detentions of opposition leaders, like Selahattin Demirtaş. We are saying out loud that that the persecution against political opposition in this country must cease”.

Members of Turkish parliament from the HDP, such as Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki, lawyers, representatives from civil society organisations and other pro-democracy supporters gathered at the compound where 20,000 prisoners are held, many of which in detention like Selahattin Demirtaş.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“Selahattin is a political prisoner and this is a purely political trial. We will keep defending his rights and the rights of the Turkish political opposition because they have the right and the obligation to represent their voters. We will always support and defend our associate parties from Turkey, HDP and CHP”. 

The PES is insisting on the release of Selahattin Demirtaş since the day of his detention,  and especially after the court in Ankara dropped some of the charges against the former leader of HDP in September last year. PES organised numerous missions to Turkey for that.

PES Deputy Secretary-General Giacomo Filibeck (in the middle) and member of the Turkish parliament from HDP Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki (right) in front of the Sincan prison in Ankara, where the trial hearing of Selahattin Demirtaş took place today.