On Saturday (25 June), the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court rejected the release of elected Members of Parliament of the pro-Kurdish Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block Selma Irmak, Kemal Aktaş, Faysal Sarıyıldız and Hatip Dicle. The decision was based on Article 83 of the Constitution (Parliamentary Immunity) and Article 100/3 of the Law on Criminal Procedures (CMK) (Arrest with a Warrant).
Dicle was disbarred from parliament by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) last week. All detainees are defendants of the KCK trial, a case about the partly armed Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK). They were elected in the parliamentary election on 12 June.
The court reasoned that the defendants did not fall under the 'parliamentary immunity'. It was said that their lawyers did not attend the three hearings related to the appeals against their detention and that the evidence against the defendants could not be studied yet although 23 hearings have been held already. The court explained that the crimes attributed to the defendants were to be tried under Article 100/3a of the CMK regulating the grounds for arrest with a warrant "if strong grounds for suspicion are present" and the listed crimes have been committed. "The demand for release was dismissed because of the probability of flight and of destroying, concealing or altering evidence".
The lawyers of the detained deputies announced lodge an appeal against the decision with the superior Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court on Sunday (26 June).
At the same time, the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court decided against the release of detained Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block deputies İbrahim Ayhan and Gülser Yıldırım.
Protests and police intervention in Istanbul
Demonstrators who planned to march from Şişli to Taksim (central Istanbul) to protest the on-going detentions encountered massive police interventions.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Şişli on Sunday upon the call of the Democratic City Council organization. The protest was joined by representatives of various political parties and democratic mass organizations and by Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block Istanbul deputies Sebahat Tuncel, Sırrı Süreyya Önder Levent Tüzel and Block deputy for Mersin Ertuğrul Kürkçü.
According to the statement of a reporter of the Etkin News Agency, the demonstrators had planned to walk from Şişli to Taksim. However, they did not get permission despite talks with the Police Directorate. Thereupon, they started a sit-down protest.
Istanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel was reportedly dragged along the ground and beaten by the police. The police used tear gas and water cannons when the protestors tried to set off for their march.
As reported by the Fırat News Agency, the protestors were attacked in the side streets after the police had managed to disperse the crowd. One protestor was severely wounded and brought to hospital. About 20 people were taken into police custody during the police intervention.
The Members of Parliament were affected by the tear gas as well. Upon the police intervention they announced that this harsh attitude was contrary to the law. They called the Ministry of the Interior to duty to draw a line for the police forces.
The Members of Parliament also participated in the 19th Pride March in Taksim the same day. The walk from Taksim Square along the Istiklal Avenue was monitored by police helicopters. The supporters of the Pride March were exposed to the remains of gas bombs in front of the Galatasaray High School in the middle of Istiklal Avenue.
Sebahat Tuncel made an announcement in front of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Provincial Head Office. She said that 23 people had been taken into police custody so far and that many people got injured. Tuncel reported that BDP executive Cesim Soylu had been dragged into the rest room of a café by the police where he was beaten. (ŞA/NV/VK)
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