HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar have called on Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani to protect the people of Makhmur, following the recent escalation of tensions that stemmed from airstrikes in the area. "The people of Makhmur are also your people," they said in the letter dated April 19.
A Turkish court has rejected an emergency plea filed for former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's release amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Demirtaş's doctor had previously told Gazete Duvar that the renowned politician is particularly vulnerable to the pandemic due to his hypertension and chronic respiratory tract disease.
A decade-long femicide case was settled at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for 50,000 Euros. The government offered a settlement to the family of Ayşe Paşalı for failing to protect the woman’s right to live. The state had ignored Paşalı’s multiple complaints regarding her murderer and had denied her a restraining order against him.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has congratulated the Yazidi New Year Çarşema Sor, also known as Red Wednesday, while also wishing for the Yazidi women and children held captive by ISIS militants to be freed. On the first Wednesday after April 13 each year, Yazidis celebrate the festival of Çarşema Sor, which they believe that marks the day when the world was fermented by God and life on earth started.
Figen Çalıkuşu, one of the lawyers of Ahmet Altan, has filed an appeal with the Court of Cassation for the renowned writer's release amid coronavirus threat in prisons. Çalıkuşu said in her appeal letter that Altan is 70 years old and his life is at risk.
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Murat Sarısaç has submitted a bill to parliament for the recognition of Anfal killings as genocide. The draft law said that the massacre in 1988 fits the United Nations' definition of a genocide.
A "marry-your-rapist" draft law prepared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) caused uproar on social media. According to the bill, the age difference between the victim and the perpetrator shouldn't be more than 15, the perpetrator shouldn't be married and the victim shouldn't file a complaint after the sexual assault in order for the perpetrator to avoid sentence.
The AKP has withdrawn a clause on requiring foreign social media companies with high internet traffic to appoint a representative in the country to address concerns raised by authorities over content on their platforms. Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan commented on the withdrawal decision, saying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "will try to pass the law at the earliest opportunity."
Turkish parliament passes bill to release thousands from prison, leaves journalists, politicians out
Turkey's parliament on April 14 passed a law that will allow the release of tens of thousands of prisoners, but which critics slam for excluding those jailed on terrorism charges, mainly journalists and politicians. The opposition points out that 'terror' has taken on a broad meaning in Turkey, essentially used as a way to criminalize any opponent of the government.
Three inmates in Turkey’s open prisons have died from COVID-19, while 17 others were diagnosed with the virus, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said April 13. All cases were in “open prisons” where inmates aren’t held in cells, with no cases seen in other correctional facilities, Gül noted.
A regulation in the new judicial bill brought to parliament by the government will allow Turkish authorities to interrogate prisoners arrested on terror charges for 15 days. If the bill is approved, intelligence units will also be granted the authority to get convicts or arrestees out of jail to interrogate them, daily Cumhuriyet reported on April 13, adding that the bill stipulates receiving permission from the said prisoners.
The plight of the refugees in Turkey continues as authorities have been taking them to a coast in Çanakkale to encourage them to cross into Greece. "Police have dropped us here and left. We are out in the open. There's no food or drinks. No one is coming. They told us that we can cross into Greece from where they dropped us, but there's no road here," a refugee told Duvar.
A Turkish prosecutor appealed the acquittal of philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala and eight others over their alleged role in the 2013 Gezi Park protests. A 90-page document from the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, dated April 8, called for the Gezi case acquittal rulings to be annulled and for the defendants to be convicted as charged.
Nail Noğay, the Family and Social Policies Ministry's Istanbul Provincial Deputy Manager, caused uproar on Twitter late on April 8 after telling a Roma woman complaining about hunger and poverty to die. While Noğay deleted his post due to backlash, the ministry released a statement on the issue, saying that he was sacked and a probe was launched into him.
Sick inmates in Turkey are being denied treatment, with their relatives urging authorities to act egalitarian regarding a bill that would release thousands of prisoners and convicts and that excludes political prisoners amid the coronavirus pandemic. There are a total of 1,333 sick prisoners in the country, with 457 of them severely ill, according to the Human Rights Association.