Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in pretrial detention since November, wrote a letter to 1,000 prominent figures from politics, the arts, media and the law calling on them to support justice, CNN Türk reported on Thursday.
“I am asking you to make an evaluation of legal processes concerning the HDP and to display a fair attitude by supporting law and justice, even if you do not support me and my party’s views and political projects,” said Demirtaş.
Claiming that deputies cannot be prosecuted, Demirtaş questioned the independence and objectivity of the judiciary, thousands of members of which were purged following a botched coup attempt last summer.
The jailed HDP co-chair said HDP deputies, mayors and party members are being kept in prison as part of a systematic political strategy, which imprisons them due to their political ideologies.
The government has been criticized for stepping up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians.
There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.