International delegation to observe Yüksekdağ's hearing in Ankara

The first hearing of the main case of Figen Yüksekdağ will be held today at 14.00 p.m. at Ankara 16th Heavy Penal Court. Yüksekdağ will attend the hearing in person.

The first hearing of the main case of Figen Yüksekdağ will be held today at 14.00 p.m. at Ankara 16th Heavy Penal Court. Yüksekdağ will attend the hearing in person.

An international delegation consisting of parliamentarians, lawyers and representatives of NGOs will observe the hearing. The members of the delegation are as follows:

Giacomo Filibeck - Deputy Secretary General of Party of European Socialists (PES)

Evin İncir - Party of European Socialists (PES)

Arnljot Ask - Solidarity with Kurdish People Association (Norway)

Peter M Johansen - Journalist / Daily Klassekampen

Maria Hessen Jacobsen - The Norwegian Bar Association

Isabelle de Almeida - President of the National Council of French Communist Party

Meline Le Gourrierec - French Communist Party

Jean-Christophe Sellin - France Left Party / European Left Party

Corinne Morel Darleux - France Left Party / European Left Party

Thomas Schmidt - Secretary General of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights

Ilias Panchard - Activist

Melanie Gingell - Lawyer-England

İbrahim Doğuş -City Council Member of Haringey

Ali Gül Özbek - Lawyer, England

Makbule Güneş - Lawyer, England

Hakan Taş – Die Linke, MP of Berlin State Parliament

Gülay Tolu - Socialist Women's Union

M. Ali Çelebi - Federation of Alevis Alliances of France

Sultan Şahin - Federation of Alevis Alliances of France, Alevi Women's Association

The delegation will make a statement after the hearing.

Yüksekdağ, former Co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will be appearing at court for the first time since her arrest in Ankara on 4 November, 2016. 30 to 83 year prison sentence is sought for Yüksekdağ whose membership in the party and parliament was revoked after her imprisonment.

The former HDP co-chair, who will appear in court 242 days after her arrest, is facing the accusations of establishing or directing armed terrorist organization, making propaganda of a terrorist organization, inciting people to hatred and enmity, inciting people to commit a crime, inciting people to break the law, participation in unlawful meetings and demonstrations. Her indictment consists of 8 separate files compiled together. Almost all of the files are about speeches she made as the leader of a political party.

Evidence cited from her speeches includes:

• Describing the demonstrations during curfews in Kurdish cities as “resistance”;

• Supporting “democratic self-administration”, a fact which is openly written in HDP’s party program;

• Describing the killings of hundreds of civilians in the operations carried out by state security forces as “massacre”.

Beside this, one of the files is related to the call to protest the siege of Kobanê issued by HDP Central Executive Committee on 6 October 2014. During the countrywide protests, the police used extreme violence, and over 50 people were killed between 6th and 8th of October 2014, the overwhelming majority being HDP members or sympathizers.

In the meantime, police forces have taken strict “security measures” in and around the court before the start of the hearing today afternoon. Yüksekdağ's lawyers have today been obstructed from making a press statement in front of the Constitutional Court.

On the other hand, lawyers and civilians setting out from Konya and Istanbul to attend the hearing in Ankara were stopped by the police on their way and blocked from moving further. Drivers of the buses carrying these people were disqualified from driving and given 2600 TL fine.