A GROUP of protesters intending to support the 100thday hunger strike of Leyla Güven were stopped in their tracks by the police in the eastern Turkish province of Hakkari.
Dozens of the protesters were detained
Güven is the deputy of the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) and is protesting the ‘solitary confinement’ of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Güven is the Hakkari MP of pro-Kurdish HDP and co-president of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK).
Although she was released by the court on the 80thday of her hunger strike, but since then, she is still continuing her act.
According to a Diken news report, the protesters gathered in Democratic Regions Party’s Hakkari (1834 km east of İstanbul) provincial building near the Governorship Headquarters building.
Heightened security to prevent protesters across the province
During the protest meeting, wide-ranging security preventions were implemented by Turkish police. Meanwhile, getting some information before the meeting, Hakkari Governorship banned all meetings and demonstrations for thirteen days.
Along with HDP’s Hakkari Deputy Sait Dede and HDP’s Diyarbakır Deputy Saliha Aydeniz, the group wanted to proceed to Diyarbakır, but when they left the building, police warned and reminded protestors on demonstrations and the banning of meetings in the province.
Following this, the group refused to disperse, leaving many protesters arrested. The tension is still ongoing in the region.
Despite calls to release them, many HDP still rot in jail
In 2016, the Turkish parliament’s general assembly voted on a bill to remove the immunity of 112 Members of Parliament in relation to over 500 dossiers. Following this, Selahattin Demirtas, the pro-Kurdish HDP’s former leader, was among the nine MPs of his party facing various charges. Demirtas was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison in September 2018.
After Güven’s release, eight other HDP MPs were imprisoned with Demirtas. One of the serious charges of which he was convicted was driving propaganda for PKK – the Kurdistan Workers Party that has for decades waged an armed insurrection in Turkey.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution calling on Turkey to respect the “rights and freedom of expression, association and assembly” of the opposition in January 2019.
By adopting the resolution, PACE called on Turkish authorities to release imprisoned MPs and former MPs.