EDIRNE, Turkey (Hurriyet Daily News)—The co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is being overtly subjected to torture in prison, a HDP lawmaker has said, commenting on the imprisonment of HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş.
“Isolation is a form of torture and our lawmakers and co-chairs are being overtly subjected to torture,” HDP deputy Meral Danış Beştaş said before visiting Demirtaş in the prison in the northwestern province of Edirne, adding that “lawlessness is being implemented.”
“There is isolation, restrictions and lawlessness in every sense,” she said.
Nine lawmakers from the HDP, as well its co-chairs, Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested on November 4 in a probe that was launched against 14 of the party’s lawmakers over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Saying that Turkey should rectify its mistake, Beştaş noted that “no good can come to Turkey with it.”
“The fact that the co-chair of Turkey’s third biggest party is kept under torture and restrictions doesn’t do anything to benefit Turkey, and Turkey needs to rectify its mistake as soon as possible,” she said.
After being imprisoned, Demirtaş requested to serve his prison sentence in the same cell as one of the party’s lawmakers from the eastern province of Hakkari, Abdullah Zeydan, who was arrested on Nov. 6 and brought to the same prison in Edirne. Demirtaş’s request was rejected.
Accompanied by HDP lawmakers Burcu Çelik Özkan and Erol Dora, Beştaş said the fact that Demirtaş’s aforementioned request was rejected was against decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“We are here today for Demirtaş’s prison conditions. Unfortunately, he is still being kept in isolation alone. Despite the fact that Zeydan is also serving here, Demirtaş’s and his requests to stay together were rejected,” she said.
Beştaş also said the prison staff were restricting the number of letters that Demirtaş can write.
“We filed applications on three matters and one concerned the letters. Demirtaş’s parliamentary group meeting talk wasn’t given. It was given after two weeks and it was censored. His letters to European parliamentarians were also not given. This is not acceptable,” she added.