ERBIL — Turkish judicial authorities decided on Thursday to keep co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, in prison for two more months until his next trial.
After 399 days behind bars, the first hearing was held earlier today (7th December) in Ankara. Authorities prevented the Kurdish leader from appearing in court allegedly for security measures, and Demirtaş refused to take part via a video link.
The court, in his absence, ruled that Demirtaş will remain in prison until the next hearing in his trial on February 14th, as reported by Hurriyet Daily Mail.
The court also refused to allow most international and local observers to attend the hearing, again citing “security concerns.” Only a dozen of visitors and journalists were allowed into the court.
Demirtaş was arrested last year on 4th November on “terror” charges as part of an investigation carried out by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In a statement on Wednesday, HDP said that over 1,250 lawyers are defending Demirtaş, while the court has provided them with a room which holds 20 people only.