Turkey: Police officer slaps HDP official during protest

Turkey: Police officer slaps HDP official during protest
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Several people including the reporter who recorded the incident have been arrested by the police in Istanbul.

A police officer slapped a senior official of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) during a protest in Istanbul on Sunday.

Many people, including +Gercek's Mehmet Zeki Kaya who recorded the incident were detained.

The police tried to stop a demonstration in Kadikoy district, staged in solidarity with ill prisoners who are denied release despite their serious health conditions and in protest against solitary confinement imposed on political prisoners.

One of the police officers started hassling Ferhat Encu, then slapped him on the face before the cameras.

At least 33 people including Ferhat Encu were detained, and +TV reporter Umut Tasdag was beaten up by the police, Duvar said, citing journalist Meral Danyildiz.

HDP condemned the police brutality and said on Twitter:

"This thug who feels the support of the government's Ministry of Crime behind his back, and those who provide him support will eventually face justice. Neither we nor the people will forget this slap at Ferhat Encu on the anniversary of the Roboski Massacre."

About Ferhat Encu

Ferhat Encu lost eleven relatives in the deadly incident known as "Roboski Massacre" on 28 December 2011, when Turkish war planes bombarded a group of civilians near the Iraqi border on suspicion that there were fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) among them. 34 villagers from the village of Roboski were killed by the air strike.

Encu was elected to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) in 2015 as Sirnak deputy for HDP.

His parliamentary immunity was lifted and he was arrested on 4 November 2016 over "terror" charges. He was released on 15 February 2017, only to be arrested two days later. He was released on 14 June 2019.