Gavan condemns Repression of Kurds at Council of Europe
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has condemned Turkey’s ongoing repression of Kurds at the Council of Europe. The Sinn Féin Senator is attending the October Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a member of the United European Left.
Contributing to a debate on the recent Presidential Election in Turkey, Senator Gavan condemned the State of Emergency and unparalleled repression against Turkeys third largest party the pro-Kurdish HDP, saying:
“The HDP’s Presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas was unable to campaign because he has been in prison on pre-trial detention since November 2016. He is in prison because he dared to stand up to the autocratic Erdogan regime and demand democratic and human rights for all citizens in Turkey including the oppressed Kurdish minority.
“In any country where parliamentary democracy functions properly, members of Parliament and leaders of political parties are not put in prison for their policies. Yet, that is the reality in Turkey. These elections clearly didn’t take place in a free and fair climate.
“Despite the imprisonment of its activists and MP’s, daily police oppression, and media censorship, the HDP passed the election threshold to win almost 12 percent of the 600 seats in Parliament. They have done so on a campaign for human rights and democracy. I send them my congratulations and solidarity.
“I condemn the continued detention of HDP MP’s and call for the immediate release of the thousands of political prisoners currently under internment in Turkey.”