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PES deeply concerned about unconstitutional move to strip Turkish MPs off immunity

Turkey - lifting immunity of national members of Parliament The Party of European Socialists is deeply concerned about the upcoming vote at the Parliament General Assembly in Turkey to lift the immunity of the members of the Turkish Parliament.
We consider the measure to be a new attempt to crack down on the opposition and as directly targeting the HDP party, which an associated member of the PES.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “The decision to lift the immunity of democratically elected representatives of the people is one more step of the Turkish government towards silencing the opposition. It is illegal because it suspends an article of the Turkish Constitution through an exceptional channel with no legitimate reason. This is unacceptable in any functioning democracy.

The PES fears that, if passed, the new law would potentially trigger the prosecution of 46 HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) and 51 CHP (Republican People's Party) members of parliament based on weak or non-existing evidence.

Stanishev said: “The planned law would have a perverse impact on the ability of MP’s to criticise the government. The Parliament is the forum for public debate and restricting the freedom of expression of the deputies is a direct attack against democracy. One of the main purposes of a Parliament is to host debates and open conversations in a Democratic country.

PES President Sergei Stanishev added: “Together with our associate parties in Turkey – CHP and HDP – the PES will fight for an open, democratic Turkey where civil liberties and the right to political dissent are protected. In that context, I would like to ask our Turkish associated members to show unity and solidarity in opposing to the majority, to protect democracy and human rights and freedoms the attacks it is getting from the Turkish government.” 

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