Police attack rally for prisoners in Istanbul

Police attacked a vigil by relatives of political prisoners in Istanbul and detained six people. The relatives, mostly mothers, are fighting for the lives of their imprisoned children.

For months, relatives of political prisoners have been holding a "justice vigil" in front of Istanbul's Çağlayan Palace of Justice on Thursdays to demand the release of those who are seriously ill and continue to be imprisoned for lack of remorse despite completing their sentences. The vigil was again attacked by police today, with six detentions.

In order to support the relatives and their demands, a large number of people came to the courthouse, including HDP deputy Musa Piroğlu, HDK spokeswoman Esengül Demir, members of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), the HDP Youth Council and the socialist party SYKP. When the relatives tried to present their demands, the police intervened referring to an official ban on assemblies. Piroğlu protested against the arbitrary ban and said, "We are here because human rights are being violated in prisons. We are here so that Aysel Tuğluk and Mehmet Özkan do not have to die in prison. No other people should die in prison. The mothers present here don't want their children to leave prison in a coffin."

Police attacked the crowd and several people were pushed to the ground and taken into custody.