Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Selahattin Demirtas, imprisoned co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has created a second painting in jail.
He created the artwork, depicting a child standing in a doorway, while detained in the high security Edirne F-type prison.
Demirtas, who is also a musician, has written at least one story and a poem during his detention. His first painting was of a horse.
He was arrested in November 2016 on terror charges, accused of having ties with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The first hearing of his case is scheduled for September 6. The prosecutor is seeking up to 142 years imprisonment for Demirtas.
HDP’s former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag was also arrested in November 2016 on charges of supporting terrorism and Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the PKK, after she participated in a rally in February 2015 protesting Ocalan’s imprisonment. Last month, HDP elected Serpil Kemalbay to replace Yuksekdag as co-chair after her party status was revoked by the courts.
Last year, the Turkish parliament voted to lift parliamentary immunity from a select group of MPs, including many HDP members.
According to HDP Spokesperson Osman Baydemir, around 10,000 HDP supporters including mayors and city officials associated with the party have been arrested following the loss of immunity and the failed coup of last summer. Some of the detainees have been subsequently released.
Earlier this week, Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Baydemir.