Ms Nursel Aydoğan, HDP MP for Diyarbakır, was arrested on 4 November 2016 with charges of “making terrorist propaganda” and “inciting people to hatred and enmity.” These accusations were based on her political activities, such as giving speeches or attending public and political events. On 21 April 2017, Ms. Aydoğan’s was released with a decision of Diyarbakır 4th Heavy Penal Court. Yet, the Chief Public Prosecutor of Diyarbakir appealed to a Higher Court against her release and Diyarbakır 5th Heavy Penal Court issued an arrest warrant for Ms. Aydoğan. Diyarbakır 2nd Assize Court had earlier sentenced Ms. Aydoğan to 4 years 8 months 7 day in prison. The District Appeals Court (Istinaf Mahkemesi) in Gaziantep approved this conviction and the Prosecutor’s Office in Diyarbakır sent the formal conviction letter to the Ministry of Justice, demanding the revocation of Ms Aydoğan’s parliamentary seat. On 9 May 2017, the conviction decision was read out at the plenary session and Ms. Aydoğan lost her parliamentary seat. After our co-chair Ms Figen Yüksekdağ, Ms. Aydoğan is the second HDP deputy who lost her parliamentary seat. She will soon be sent back to prison. The case that caused the conviction of Ms. Aydoğan was prepared by a prosecutor who is currently under arrest due to allegations of “FETO” membership. Both the conviction of Ms. Aydoğan and the revocation of her parliamentary seat are decisions in clear violation of the Constitution and international conventions of which Turkey is a signatory party. These decisions are not legal, but deeply political and arbitrary.
Batman Second Heavy Penal Court released Ms Besime Konca, HDP MP for Siirt, on 3 May 2017, with the condition of a ban on travel abroad and judicial control. Ms. Konca had been jailed at Kandıra F Type P Prison since 13 December 2016. Upon her release, a chief prosecutor objected to Ms Konca’s release and the court ordered an arrest warrant for her again. She will be sent back to prison any time soon.
In the meantime, the only good news came on May 4, when Ms Ayla Akat Ata was released after spending seven months in prison. Ms Akat Ata is a former MP for Batman and, at the time of her arrest, the spokesperson of Free Women Congress (KJA), which was banned and closed down by the decree law dated 29 October 2016. Ms Ayla Akat Ata was arrested in Diyarbakır on 31 October 2016 with the charge of “being a member of terrorist organization.”
Currently, our Co-chairs and eight MPs are still in prison. When Ms Aydoğan and Ms Konca are sent back to prison, the total number of HDP deputies in prison will be twelve. Neither the Turkish Constitutional Court nor the European Court of Human Rights has started reviewing our appeals.
Vice Co-chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Member of Parliament
10 May 2017