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HDP Co-chair Demirtaş says he knew 15 days in advance he would be arrested

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Co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has said he knew 15 days in advance that he would be arrested but he preferred to stay in Turkey and jailed rather than fleeing abroad.

Speaking to a group of deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) who paid him a visit in Edirne Prison earlier this week, Demirtaş said: “I knew 15 days before it happened that I would be arrested. I explained to my children how they should behave when [police officers] came. I could have gone abroad, but I prefer to be jailed in my country to being in a foreign country.”

CHP deputy Eren Erdem, who was among those visiting Demirtaş, talked about claims that Demirtaş is being kept in solitary confinement in prison. He said the prison warden told CHP deputies that Demirtaş is being kept in a “special place” to prevent provocative acts against him.

Demirtaş was jailed in early November along with nine other HDP deputies including the party’s other Co-chairperson Figen Yüksekdağ. The HDP deputies were arrested on the grounds that they did not go to court to testify as part of a terrorism probe.

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