Imprisoned Kurdish leader denounces legal cases targeting HDP as "lawless"

Imprisoned Kurdish leader denounces legal cases targeting HDP as "lawless"
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"We are faced with a lawless process that is carried out in accordance with the administration's political objectives, and it cannot be described as a trial," Demirtas has said.

Imprisoned former leader of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) said in his defense statement at court on Friday that the party has been subjected to the political administration's systematic attacks in recent years, some through the judiciary, +Gercek's Seda Taskin reported.

Selahattin Demirtas said in the 18th hearing session of the Kobani trial:

"This trial has always been a politically motivated one. We are faced with a lawless process that is carried out in accordance with the political objectives of the administration, and it cannot be described as a trial. And neither can the prosecution's comments be described as comments, as they constitute a document of mere contortion."

He added:

"We have responded to this political move by displaying a political stance, and we will continue to do so. The objective of this political move, which is presented as a trial, is criminalizing HDP and isolating it politically. It seeks to contribute to another election win by the AKP-MHP [the ruling Justice and Development Party and its partner Nationalist Movement Party] bloc. And yet, this trial is not the only instrument of plot used for achieving their illegitimate objectives."

He continued:

"The closure case against HDP is another political process that is carried out with the same objective. Besides those, a most severe attack is conducted through a policy of fueling division, inner strife and separation within HDP (...) Our response to such dirty operations will be uniting around HDP more than ever, and raising the struggle for democracy, freedom and peace. Everybody should know that we were born to politics within the parties of [political] tradition and HDP, we grew with HDP, and we'll prevail with HDP."

The Kobani trial's latest hearing session and Demirtas's defense coincided with the anniversary of his arrest and incarceration on 4 November 2016.

The "Kobani Case"

108 members and officials of HDP, including former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, faces trial in the Kobani Case.

The case involves deadly incidents allegedly linked with 2014 demonstrations that had begun in solidarity with Syria’s Kurdish-majority city of Kobane, which had been under the siege of the Islamic State (ISIS) at the time.

After the largest demonstrations had been staged on 6 October, and following a live address by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who made a remark about ‘Kobane falling soon’, the next day violent incidents ensued, during which dozens were killed, most of them supporters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The "Kobane Case" later turned into a convenient tool for prosecuting and jailing Kurdish political figures including the 2016 arrest of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the party co-chairs at the time. They are accused of instigating violence that resulted in multiple deaths.