A delegation including international figures,deputies from the European Parliament and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) officials were on Friday denied the right to visit jailed HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş on the grounds that they did not have permission from the Justice Ministry.
Among the delegation members were EP deputy Julia Ward, former EP deputy Francis Wurtz, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) member MirenEdurneGorrotxategi,UllaSandbaek, member of the Parliament of Iceland, former Minister and Chairman of the Confederation of State and Municipal Employees of Iceland (BSRB) ÖgmundurJonasson, International Institute for Social Ecology Advisor from Canada DimitriRoussopoulos, Westminster School of Geography at the University of Leeds and International Institute for Social Ecology Advisory Board Member Federico Venturini, Cambridge University Political Sociology Professor Dr. Thomas Jeffery Miley, HDP İstanbul deputy Hüda Kaya, HDP Party Council member Ayşe Berktay and lawyers.
None of the delegation members was allowed to visit Demirtaş in Edirne Prison because a request they made to the Justice Ministry for a visit to the imprisoned HDP co-chair had been rejected.
EP deputy Ward, who spoke to reporters in front of the prison, said the number of arrestees in Turkey is increasing with every passing day and that as an activist of human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights, she is very concerned about Turkey’s future.
Ward said democracy is under attack in Turkey with the imprisonment of more and more teachers, students and academics.
Demirtaş was arrested in a police operation on Nov. 4 along with eight other deputies including the party’s other co-chair, Figen Yüksekdağ.