Close to a 1000 HDP administrators behind bars in Turkey

HDP supporters protest the arrest of their members in Istanbul with a poster reading, "We are not afraid of you."

People’s Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman and Urfa Deputy Osman Baydemir shared data about HDP members under detention in a press conference on Sunday. Close to a thousand HDP administrators are currently in prison in addition to 13 deputies, said Baydemir.

A thousand administrators behind bars

“37 province co-chairs and 97 district co-chairs have been arrested since July 2016. 27 province co-chairs and 84 district co-chairs who are members of the party administration are currently in prison. A total of 13 deputies, two members of the central executive committee, five members of the party council and more than 750 provincial and district administrators are under detention at this moment as well 85 [municipality] mayors. Trustees have been appointed to more than 70 municipalities that we had won in the last local elections,” Baydemir announced.

Kemal Kurkut shooting ‘murder’

The lawmaker started the press conference by thanking all citizens who participated in the Newroz celebrations “despite the oppressive policies that have come into force since the start of the ’emergency rule regime'” and condemned the killing of Kemal Kurkut, the 23 year old university student shot dead by police ahead of the celebration.

“Thanks to the photos taken by a journalist we know that this murder committed in Diyarbakir had nothing to do with security concerns, it was done with the intention of sabotaging the Newroz celebrations.”

‘No’ campaign to launch in front of prison

Baydemir also said his party’s ‘No’ campaign for April’s referendum would be launched in front of Edirne and Kandira prisons [where the two co-leaders of the party are imprisoned] on 29 March.

“Our campaign will start in front of the prisons where they are keeping our co-leaders as hostages,” said Baydemir.