Jun 06 2018

Jailed Turkey presidential candidate makes election speech via telephone

Jailed presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş used his weekly phone call to his family to address a room full of members of his Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) with a pre-prepared election speech, which the party then broadcast on Twitter.

In his speech, Demirtaş, who is being kept in pre-trial detention and faces up to 142 years in prison on terror charges, described himself as a “political hostage”.

While his hands were tied, he said, government figures were free to make false accusations against him on stage to which he could not respond.

“My example is only one example. Today, the whole nation and all its citizens have become the victims of injustice,” he said.

“Injustice does not only happen in the courts. We witness unjust measures every day against everyone in every place, from universities to hospitals, from the fields to the factories, and from government offices to the streets. Sadly, Turkey has been changed into a semi-open prison.”