Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Province co-chairs Zeyyat Ceylan and Hülya Alökmen Uyanık, who were detained on 22 October as part of an investigation launched by Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office, appeared in court on 30 October after eight days in custody.
According to Yeni Yaşam, the co-chairs were accused of attending prohibited demonstrations and events as well as visiting NGOs. In addition, photographs and documents found in the party building were declared criminal by the court during the hearing.
Ceylan and Uyanık stated in their testimonies that the events and demonstrations they attended were open to the general public and that attending those events did not constitute a crime.
Ceylan and Uyanık were arrested on the charge of membership of a terror organisation following their testimonies. Their lawyers will file an appeal to the high court within the next few days.
HDP Yenişehir district co-chairs Remziye Sızıcı and Kasım Kaya were also detained in the operation carried out on 22 October. According to DW News’ report, Kaya and Sızıcı were released on the condition of an international travel ban.
HDP Central Office made a statement on the arrests declaring that the judgements of Ceylan and Alökmen were lawless. HDP pointed out that the decision was the continuation of revenge operations carried out against the party. “The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) openly block the right to do politics. No matter what they do, I will lose”.
Diyarbakır İl Eşbaşkanlarımız Hülya Alökmen ve Zeyat Ceylan’ın hukuksuz bir şekilde tutuklanması, partimize yönelik intikam saldırılarının devamıdır. Darbeci AKP-MHP iktidarı alenen siyaset yapma hakkını engelliyor. İktidar ne yaparsa yapsın yenilmeye mahkumdur. pic.twitter.com/D4e6PNHc6t
— HDP (@HDPgenelmerkezi) October 30, 2020
Lawyer: The long-term project is to disable the HDP
Ceylan and Uyanık’s lawyer said that the decision was part of a long-term project aiming to disable the HDP. “The project is to destroy relations between the HDP and the people. First, they set up a tent in front of the HDP organisation’s building. Then, they tried to block people from entering the party building by using cameras. They tried to block press statements and events even in front of the party building, but they could not. And now they have arrested the party’s co-chairs”.
Lastly, the lawyer said that the co-chairs were asked why and by whose instructions they had attended the party congress, adding that these questions revealed all facts.