Parliamentary Committee decides to lift the immunity of Kurdish MP in Turkey
The Parliamentary Constitutional Justice Joint Committee decided to lift the immunity of a Kurdish MP on the grounds that she punched the police during a march in Kadiköy.
The prosecution started proceedings against Saliha Aydeniz after she was engaged in a quarrel with police and allegedly punched an officer last month, when the police attacked a demonstration protesting against the isolation of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed [former] leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and arrested dozens of protestors.
In the Joint Committee, deputies from the ruling block AKP (Justice and development Party) and MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) along with opponent Good Party voted for lifting the immuniton.
The committee is expected to present its report on the lifting of Aydeniz's immunity to the General Assembly on 29 July.
“The committee’s decision is illegal, they are trying to rip off pieces of HDP's life, flesh and body, trying to maintain their power with these pieces,” said Meral Danis Bestas, a co-deputy president of the HDP.
According to the legislation, the Joint Commission reports regarding the lifting of immunity are taken directly on the agenda of the General Assembly. A quorum of 151 votes is sufficient to lift immunity.
13 HDP deputies have already been stripped of their immunity, and 10 deputies from the party, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag are currently in jail.
In February, The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkey violated the freedom of expression of HDP lawmakers by removing their parliamentary immunity from prosecution.
Separately, The Turkish Constitutional Court is also currently working on a case intended to outlaw the HDP.