Pro-Kurdish HDP launches ‘Conscience and Justice Watch’ demonstrations in Turkey despite police barrier

As the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has launched “Conscience and Justice Watch” demonstarions on Tuesday in Ekin Ceren Park in Diyarbakır province to demand justice for its detained co-chairs and deputies, Turkish police teams have not let the people to attend the gathering in the park.

HDP, Turkey’s second largest opposition party, has launched “Conscience and Justice Watch” demonstrations with the parliamentary group meeting of the party at Ekin Ceren Park on Tuesday. However, police teams have only allowed HDP deputies and party executives to gather in the park. The people have to watch the group meeting from the outside the park.

HDP spokesperson Osman Baydemir made a speech during the demonstration in the park and said that “All values in our geography have been trampled in the past two years. Free will of the peoples whom we have been representing for the past two years has been seized. We are here to make a call from our conscience to the conscience of international and national public. Our presence here is a movement of conscience and justice. It is an effort to protect justice conscientiously. We are here to say ‘no’ against the attacks against all humanitarian values.”

It was reported that the ‘Conscience and Justice Watch’ demonstrations will be held in various cities until November 4 – the date marking the first anniversary of arrest of the HDP members – by starting with Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Van, and İzmir.

Announcing the decision during a press conference at the Parliament on Monday, national Press Day in Turkey, Baydemir has also said that “Today is the 130th anniversary of lifting of bans on press. And, it is also referred to as Press Holiday. But 166 journalists are now in jail for having worked for the right of people to have access to news. Also, Cumhuriyet newspaper’s members are appearing before a judge today. Justice and legal order will be necessary for all one day. And, this country will reach the light by resisting against fascism.”

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Currently, 11 pro-Kurdish HDP deputies are in jail on charges of terrorist links. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians and co-chairs have been arrested on terror charges. The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.

July 25, 2017

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