HDP deputies: We will be the voice of sick prisoners

Deputies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Musa Piroğlu and Dilşat Canbaz Kaya joined a demonstration in Istanbul to protest the violent detention of prisoners’ mothers. The lawmakers said that they would continue to be the voice of sick prisoners.

For months, relatives of political prisoners have been holding a "justice vigil" on Thursdays in front of the Istanbul Palace of Justice in Çağlayan to demand the release of those who are seriously ill and still imprisoned for lack of remorse despite completing their sentences. Most of the participants are mothers fighting for the lives of their imprisoned children.

Today's justice vigil was attended by Fince Akman, mother of Yakup Akman, who is imprisoned in Silivri Maximum Security Prison, and Cemile Karakaş, whose son Xemgin Karakaş was severely abused when he was transferred from Silivri to a prison in Afyon last February. The women were supported by members of the HDP and the ANYAKAY-DER solidarity association. As on every Thursday, the police cracked down on the rally. Fince Akman and Cemile Karakaş were beaten and dragged to a police van with their mouths covered. In total, six people were taken into custody. In the prison van, those detained shouted in Kurdish "Long live the prison resistance!" (Bijî berxwedana zindanan) and were mistreated by the police.

HDP MP Musa Piroğlu, who regularly participates in the justice vigil, and his parliamentary group colleague Dilşat Canbaz Kaya protested against the action and expressed solidarity with the relatives of the prisoners. The police also cracked down on the MPs and Piroğlu was beaten in his wheelchair.

Despite the police violence, the lawmakers made a statement and underlined that the struggle would continue until the aggression against the relatives of prisoners ends and sick prisoners are released.


MP Dilşat Canbaz Kaya denounced the violent detention of prisoners' mothers and the police obstruction of HDP lawmakers trying to make the voices of mothers heard by marching from the courthouse to end this unlawfulness.

Kaya emphasized that policemen who set up barricades in front of the women who today went to the Council of State to protest the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, and the policemen who violently detained the prisoners' mothers and set up barricades in front of the lawmakers in Istanbul are led by the same mentality. Kaya noted that mothers, politicians, journalists and women who raise their voices for their children in the country where murderers of women are set free by "incitement" abatement. “We are raising our voice against this once again. This unlawfulness must end, and all sick prisoners must be released. We will continue to be the voice of sick prisoners everywhere,” she underlined.


HDP Deputy Musa Piroğlu started his speech by raising concern over the double standard that is applied every week in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse. Piroğlu noted that while everyone is allowed to make a statement in front of the courthouse, the prisoners' mothers are beaten and detained each time on the grounds of the governor's ban.

“While the prisoners are kept indoors, we are prisoners outdoors under a one-man regime. However, we will not accept this, and we will try to make our voices heard in any place where there are government bans. We, as members of the parliament, will do our best to raise people’s voice wherever they are blocked. Wherever you put a barricade in front of us, we will continue to resist against that barricade. We will raise the struggle so that the country does not turn into a police state, an oppressive regime and a dictatorship,” Piroğlu said.