A Turkish police officer slapped Ferhat Encü, a former MP and the current İstanbul chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), during a justice vigil organised on Sunday by relatives of prisoners, Artı Gerçek reported.
The police detained an Artı Gerçek cameraman who videoed the police officer slapping Encü. According to journalist Meral Danyıldız, they also battered an Artı Gerçek correspondent.
Meanwhile, dozens of the people gathered in Kadıköy district to join the justice vigil were also taken into custody.
The group’s primary demand is an end to inhumane practices used against sick prisoners, who are denied release despite their medical conditions, and those who are kept in jail for “disciplinary reasons” despite having completed their prison sentences.
Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), is among those prisoners whose rights have been violated by the Turkish authorities. The groups organising the vigil call for an end to the isolation of Öcalan, who has been denied any contact with his family and lawyers for almost two years.
Encü was born in the Roboski district in the southeastern province of Şırnak, where 34 people were killed by the Turkish military in 2011. Encü lost 11 relatives in the incident. He was elected as an HDP MP in the 2015 elections.
In 2017, while an MP, he was arrested on terror-related charges, after the collapse of peace negotiations between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015, and he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in 2018. The politician was later released from prison.