Maskey in Turkey as International observer for trial of HDP MPs
Paul Maskey MP visited Ankara, Turkey this week as part of an international delegation of independent witnesses at the court cases of two HDP Members of Parliament, Mr Selahattin Demirtaş and Ms Yüksekdağ. The delegation also met trade unionists and human rights organisations.
Prosecutors are seeking life in solitary confinement for Ms Yüksekdağ while Mr Demirtaş faces 142 years on charges of alleged terrorism.
Speaking from Ankara, Paul Maskey said:
“Even though the judge had given us permission to observe the trial, Turkish police armed with batons, water canon and riot shields barred our way and prevented us entering the court room.
"The police action was clearly intended to intimidate the independent observers and to prevent us from witnessing what was ongoing in the court.
"Many people outlined to us just how dangerous a place Turkey has become with human rights abuses widespread, something we witnessed at first hand in the actions of the Turkish police.
"As we mark International Human Rights Day this weekend we extend our support and solidarity to those in Turkey who’s basic human rights, including the right to a fair and open trial, are denied."