The Centre for Kurdish Progress has launched a petition for the freedom of former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since November 2016.
“Turkey should comply with the judgement of the ECHR and release Selahattin Demirtaş immediately,” it stated in the letter that the campaigners have written demanding the freedom of the Kurdish politician.
The campaigners criticise Turkey’s increasingly oppressive politics against the Kurds and defines it as an authoritarion turn that has been happening since 2015.
“The repression of the Kurdish political opposition has intensified as Turkey’s authoritarian turn gathered pace since 2015. Since then, the HDP’s district and provincial mayors have been removed from their positions on spurious allegations and thousands of party officials have been arrested and imprisoned with Selahattin Demirtaş being among them.”
When a UK citizen signs the online petition an automatic message that can be read online on the petition’s website will be sent to the MP elected for their area with a subject title, “Freedom for Selahattin Demirtaş.”
The petition, which can be signed via this link, is open only to the signatures of UK citizens.
Rushanara Ali: Turkish authorities should release Demirtaş
So far at least 80 MP’s have responded positively and given their support to the campaign. Rushanara Ali, the Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow also answered the request from a constituent by letter saying:
“Thank you for contacting me about Selahattin Demirtaş. Please accept my apologies for not being able to write back to you sooner.
I share your concerns for Selahattin Demirtaş’s arrest, which was ruled as a violation of rights by the European Court of Human Rights. The ECHR has ordered Mr Demirtaş’s immediate release. I believe the Turkish authorities should release Mr Demirtaş from his extended pre-trial detention.”