ANKARA (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish police on Monday physically prevented opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers from laying a black wreath in front of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ankara to protest the imminent execution of Kurdish prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi.
During an ensuing scuffle, police manhandled HDP’s Ankara MP Filiz Kerestecioglu who wanted to make a statement, and tore down a banner another woman was carrying, Kurdistan 24’s bureau at the Turkish capital reported.
Police violently drove away the group and also arrested four people who were attending the planned demonstration against Panahi’s expected execution, beating one to the ground.
In a statement to the media at the HDP headquarters, about half a kilometer away from the Iranian Embassy, Kerestecioglu said the conduct of the Turkish police meant Ankara supported the Tehran government’s policy of executing political prisoners.
Appearing along with MPs Saliha Aydeniz and Dirayet Tasdemir, she condemned both states.
“This is the approval of oppression, fascism, and capital punishment. They [Turkish authorities] only know how to attack. We do not know what kind of dirty bargains they have with Iran. But we, as lawmakers, know very well the right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the law,” she said.
There was no response from the Turkish government.
An Iranian court in the Kurdistan Province sentenced Panahi to death earlier this year for taking up arms against the state.
HDP’s Co-leader Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, meanwhile, for the second time in two months, penned a letter to Iran’s ambassador Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian Fard, urging his country to halt Panahi’s death sentence.
Former HDP lawmaker Lezgin Botan called Turkey and Iran “colonialists.”
“If Israel were ever to announce it was going to execute a young Arab man, these low-lives would bring the sky down,” Botan wrote on Twitter.
On Monday, Panahi’s brother, Amjad Hossein Panahi, said Iranian authorities could carry out the execution within 48 hours.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany