An Ankara court on 7 January 2021 accepted an indictment against 108 members, deputies, mayors, and co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including jailed former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, in connection with the 6-8 October 2014 Kobani protests that took place in Turkey.
The indictment accuses 108 HDP politicians of homicide and disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state. A special court board has been formed to lead the hearings, which are expected to continue over the course of a month.
The hearings will take place every day between 10am and 4pm in a prison courtroom located in the Sincan Prison campus. One hundred lawyers are expected to be present.
The HDP parliamentary assembly will attend all hearings, as will many international observers, political party representatives and members of international human rights organisations.
The HDP also called on nearly 500 NGOs, political parties, professional organisations, trade unions and human rights institutions for solidarity.
Applications were issued to the Turkish authorities for the jailed HDP politicians to attend the hearings in person, but it is still unknown whether this will be possible.
Approximately 2,600 complainants will connect to the courtroom via video a conferencing system named SEGBIS.
Ezgi Güngördü, one of the lawyers defending the HDP politicians, shared her views with Jin News on the case.
“The Kobani case is a law scandal,” Güngördü said. “This cannot be called an indictment. It is just dozens of pages of unrelated documents. The principle of a fair trial has been violated since the beginning, because there is no causality between evidence, suspect and incident.”
Güngördü said the case is “an indication of the hatred and rage against the Kurdish people”.
“When you look at the list of defendants, you see that it is actually the HDP standing on trial. HDP members, women, and Kurds are being tried. The people who stand close to the HDP are tried,” she said.
Güngördü recalled the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) who reviewed the case in December 2020. “The ECtHR ruled that the tweet shared by the HDP Twitter account, which was the first piece of evidence used against the HDP, was not a call for violence and remained within the limits of political speech,” she further noted. “There is no crime factor, actually there is no crime at all, as observed by the ECHR. This shows that this is not a legal issue, but is motivated by politics.”