Human Rights Watch, the US based human rights organisation has called on Turkey not to expel People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu from the Turkish National Assembly after dramatic scenes in the Turkish parliament yesterday evening when Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his parliamentary status.
Following the Turkish assemblies action, it was also announced that a legal procedure was underway to close the HDP as a party. This led to immediate international reactions.
In an urgent statement issued by Human Rights Watch, it states: “Any move by Turkey’s parliament to use an opposition politician’s wrongful conviction for a social media post as a pretext to strip him of his parliamentary seat and jail him would compound the serious violation of his right to freedom of expression and violate the voters’ right to choose their representatives”.
The United States government also issued a strongly worded statement indicating that it was closely monitoring events in Turkey and was troubled by moves to strip a member of parliament, Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, of his parliamentary seat. In the statement, it also indicated that the US Government was also monitoring the initiation of legal efforts to dissolve the HDP. It stated that the decision to do so would unduly subvert the will of the six million voters who voted for the HDP and that it would deny millions of people their chosen political representation.
“We call on the Government of Turkey to respect freedom of expression in line with protections in the Turkish constitution and with Turkey’s international obligations”, it stated.