HDP deputies refuse to leave top court after unsatisfactory explanation about arrested colleagues

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Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies who visited Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) early on Tuesday to discuss HDP deputies under arrest refused to leave the premises after no satisfactory explanation was offered by president of the court Zühtü Arslan.

According to the Sendika.org website, HDP spokesman Osman Baydemir, parliamentary group deputy chairman Ahmet Yıldırım, Ağrı deputy Dilan Dirayet Taşdemir, Adana deputy Meral Danış Beştaş and İstanbul deputy Garo Paylan went to the Constitutional Court building in Ankara on the opening day of the new judicial year to discuss the situation of HDP politicians under arrest, including Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

After being denied by officials a meeting with Arslan without an appointment, the deputies refused to leave the building and started a sit-in until they were given a satisfactory explanation from Arslan’s office.

In the meantime, Baydemir told reporters in front of the court that they met with Arslan for over an hour but that their protest would continue as the HDP group did not receive a satisfactory explanation about the arrested HDP deputies.

Baydemir said they would go to AYM again tomorrow to demand an explanation of the cases of the HDP deputies.

Our co-chair Demirtaş has been in pretrial detention for 306 days, but not a single hearing has been held in his trial. However, there is an AYM stipulating that deputies cannot stand trial while in pretrial detention,” Baydemir said.

Demirtaş was arrested in November 2016 along with several other party deputies including the other co-chairperson, Yüksekdağ, on terror charges.

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