Presidents of PES and S&D Group: Turkey must release detained politician before elections

 

Appeal for the liberation of Selahattin Demirtas

 

In the fight for democracy, rule of law and human rights in Turkey, Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party
of European Socialists and Udo Bullman, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament call for the
immediate liberation of Selahattin Demirtas, former co-President of our sister partyHDP.
Selahattin Demirtas is HDP candidate for the Presidential elections, the first round of which takes place on 24 June and he should be able to campaign freely in the elections.
He is detained for political reasons since November 2016, together with other members of HDP and CHP, another PES associated member.
The PESand S&D MEP-s have been attending several court hearings of Mr. Demirtas, calling for his release and
to drop the charges against him.
Turkey, as member of the Council of Europe and as candidate for EU membership, has to guarantee to its citizens free and fair elections conformed to international standards. To this purpose, the state of emergency should be lifted and the recently adopted restrictions in the election law for voting in the Southeast cancelled, in order for all candidates to be able to campaign, all the voters to be able to vote and for the press to freely accomplish their work of objective reporting.
This election is a test for the state of the democracy in Turkey.
The PES and the S&D group support strongly all the democratic forces in Turkey, particularly both our sister parties, HDP and CHP, for this campaign.

Sergei Stanishev
President of PES

Udo Bullmann
President of S&D Group