Call to Observe the Hearing of the Case of HDP MP Ms. Leyla Güven

________________________________________________________________________________ Contact: international@hdp.org.tr Web: http://www.hdp.org.tr Address: Barbaros Mah. Tahran Cad. Büklüm Sok. No: 117 06680 Çankaya, Ankara – Turkey Phone: +90 312 427 17 80 Fax: +90 312 4288957

3 December 2018

Ms. Leyla Güven, who is the only MP remaining jailed in the 27th term of Turkish Parliament, is under pre-trial detention for almost one year. The fourth hearing of her case will be held on 26 December 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Diyarbakır 9th Heavy Penal Court. Continue reading

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Sixth Hearing of Demirtas Trial Takes Place in Ankara

Written by Margaret Owen (International Trial Observer and Barrister)

On Wednesday 12th December 2018, Solicitor-Advocate Ali Has, Thomas Phillips of Liverpool University, and myself arrive in Ankara to attend the sixth hearing of the case against Selahattin Demirtas, former co-chair of Turkey’s HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party). Demirtas was arrested on 4th November 2016 together with co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and seven other MPs. He has been in pre-trial detention at Edirne Prison since his arrest. Continue reading

Your Freedom and Mine: Booklaunch Edinburgh.

Report

On Thursday, 15 November 2018, we hosted a successful event in promotion of the new book Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdoğan’s Turkey. The book is a compilation of pieces from a variety of contributors with various perspectives from across the Kurdish movement. It centers on the illegal imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan, the ideological leader of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination, and in particular the role and impact of the various international campaigns that have been founded in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle. Continue reading

HDP MP Ms Leyla Güven on hunger strike.

Please see here the HDP’s statement on Ms Leyla Guven, MP for Hakkari in prison since 31 January 2018, who began an indefinite hunger strike to protest the politics of isolation imposed on Mr Abdullah Ocalan at Imrali Island Prison.

12.11.2018

HDP MP Ms Leyla Güven began an indefinite hunger strike in prison to protest the politics of isolation imposed on Mr Abdullah Öcalan at İmralı Island Prison.

On 7 November 2018, during the third hearing of her case at Diyarbakır 9th Heavy Penal Court, Ms Leyla Güven announced that she began an indefinite hunger strike in protest of the politics of isolation imposed on Mr Abdullah Öcalan at İmralı Island Prison.

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OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY FREE ABDULLAH OCALAN!

“Freedom is never given; it is won” A.Philip Randolph

Peace in Kurdistan

Dear Prime Minister

We issue this appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of Abdullah Ocalan,leader of the Kurdish people, who has now spent almost two decades in solitary confinement at Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara, since 15 February 1999. Continue reading

Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Turkey

https://www.facebook.com/events/1960346877377491

 The Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, Kurdistan National Congress UK, Kurdish People’s Assembly in Britain, and Freedom for Öcalan Campaign UK invite you to a discussion event to mark the release of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Öcalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdogan’s Turkey (edited by Thomas Jeffrey Miley and Federico Venturini).

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The Trial of Selahattin Demirtas: An Eye Witness Account.

On the evening of the 7th of September 2018 at around 7.30pm having returned to my hotel room in Istanbul I happened to have a news channel on. I noticed as part of the headline news feed running across at the bottom of the screen, the following; “former co-chair of the HDP (Peoples Democratic Party) Sellahattin Demirtas has been sentenced to 4 years and 8 months for the propaganda of a “terrorist” organisation. There was no other commentary about it apart from this simple banner.

What was interesting about this method of reporting was that it deliberately gave no room for context and or analysis for the piece of “news” in question. Based on the backdrop of a complete media embargo on reporting the various prosecutions against Mr. Demirtas it is difficult to therefore regard this as ‘news’. It was rather a continuation of the campaign to criminalise the former pro-Kurdish leader of the HDP, the third largest political party in Turkey and through him an entire people. Unfortunately, this level of misinformation and deployed methods of criminalisation is exactly how the Kurdish civil society movement for peace and human rights is being marginalised by being portrayed as the criminal “other”. My immediate thoughts about the banner ‘news’ was how it completely resonated with the Courts approach and the injustices that we personally observed. Continue reading

Final Trial of Selahattin Demirtas and MP Sirri Onder At the Silivri Prison Compound Court

Selahattin-Demirtas

 

Written by Margaret Owen, International Trial Observer and Barrister

Friday 7 September

I was informed that Selahattin Demirtas (pictured), the imprisoned former co-chair of the pro Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), would at last be appearing in person for this final, 6th hearing. Selahattin Demirtas has been detained since November 2016 under anti-terror law. He faces various charges and is accused of making terrorist propaganda. Demirtas’ co-defendant is the HDP MP for Ankara, Siri Surreya Onder, who will also be present at the hearing.

I travelled to Istanbul to report on the trial as an International Observer from the UK. Outside the Silivri prison compound I expected to find crowds of Demirtas/HDP supporters. Upon my arrival at the prison however, it was eerily quiet, as apart from a sizeable police presence, I found only a few hundred supporters, and soon discovered that Demirtas himself would not be there in person after all; he would be delivering his defence to the terrorism charges via video link.”Look”, said one female supporter, pointing to the sky. “You see the drone. The police want to identify who is here outside the court so they can investigate us for supporting terrorism”.  It was the first time I had seen a drone, like a black insect in the peaceful blue sky.

At the entrance to the court I was joined by a few other international observers, from the Canadian, Swiss and Dutch embassies. The nature of this trial would reflect the status of Turkey’s justice system since Erdogan won the 2018 Presidential election, in which Demirtas also stood as a candidate from his prison cell. It’s a significant event.

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HDP Statement on the Demirtas and Onder Verdict, plus the text of the Demirtas speech, which was used in the indictment against him.

To the attention of the Press;

A court has ruled in the case of our former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş as well as our 26th term Member of Parliament Sırrı Süreyya Önder that brought charges related to the role they played in the peace and solution process. Demirtaş was sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment, while Önder was sentenced to three years and six months.
The case itself, as well as the verdict released today, is not rooted in law, but is a political verdict. This decision is a clear sign of the government’s politics, which are anti-peace and insist on war. Continue reading