18 March 2016
HDP Co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas, spoke at a public meeting in the city centre of Dersim (Tunceli) today. Demirtas and the people of Dersim had gathered in protest of the Dersim Governerate’s decision to ban this year’s Newroz celebrations in the city.
The AKP government has recently been pushing to remove the political immunities of several HDP MPs including Demirtas. The MPs are facing prison for speeches they have made in the past and standing up against the reported atrocities of the Turkish armed forces in Kurdish towns and cities like Cizre and Sur.
In his speech, Demirtas touched on the possibility of prison and announced his will to the people:
“I want the people of Dersim and all our comrades to know; they are trying to threaten us with imprisonment, they think we can be chastened. I don’t know if they will go through with it. But it wont surprise me from those that can carry out all of these atrocities. But if they do carry out this crazy plan, here is my will to the people. Just as you, the people, have resisted valiantly, we too will go to prison in the same way; with our heads held high. If we are imprisoned, don’t allow them to turn the streets into prisons. Do not make concessions. Until we liberate the prisons and the streets, wherever we may be, as long as we have a single breath in our bodies, we will resist till the end alongside all of our comrades.”