President of The Swedish Left Party: What we are witnessing here is not a judicial process

The Swedish Left Party President Mr. Jonas Sjöstedt’s press statement which he made today after the trial of Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş, in front of the İstanbul court house:

Dear friends,

I’m the chairman of The Swedish Left Party, and the member of Swedish Parliament. I’ve been one of the international observers who are following this trial against Demirtaş. The international presence here has been consisting of not only me but members of parliaments represent ting many parties in Europe and also there are embassies and consulates that are present here in Turkey. The eyes are on what Turkey has been doing.

What we are witnessing now here in Turkey is not a judicial process. It’s not about having an independent juridical system; it is about silencing the political opposition. The true reason for why Demirtaş, Yüksekdağ and thousands of other HDP members are now behind the bars is because they are opposing the policy. They want different policy, they want respect for the minorities in the country, they want true democracy, they want equal rights and they want peace.

It’s especially worrying that when Turkey is facing a crucial referendum on the political future of the country, the leaders of the ‘No’ campaign not able to campaign but be put in prison. An it’s totally unacceptable. It’s also unacceptable that the free and critical media are silenced. This is not the sight of a democracy.

Left parties of Europe follow these trials. We have one simple request: unconditional and immediate release of the prisoners. This demand has broad support in the Swedish Parliament. Last week Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed the same demand: to release Demirtaş, Yüksekdağ and other prisoners without delay.

If the Turkey doesn’t change its path, it would be tragedy for Turkey and for all the people that are living here. It would be also very hard for the relationship between Turkey and other European countries.

The European Left Parties including Swedish Left Party will continue to come back, to trial after trial to follow what happens to HDP and to show our solidarity to our friends that are under such immense pressure by unjust claims by the government.

HDP is the voice for democracy, equal rights and freedom for all the people in Turkey. You will not stand alone!

Thank you, Teşekkür ederim, Spas.

23 February 2017