Official Statement

Swedish FM Margot Wallström: elected representatives should be in the parliament

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström responded to written inquiries submitted by Left Party MP and Foreign Policy Spokesperson Hakan Svennelig and Left Party MP Amineh Kakabaveh about the imprisoned HDP MPs and hunger strikes, stating that elected politicians should be allowed to fulfill their democratic duties in the parliament.
Wallström said the Swedish government is watching the developments in Turkey with concern, and pointed out that in all their meetings with Turkish representatives they speak about a free opposition and media being an integral part of a pluralist democratic system. The Foreign Minister said they have taken the human rights violations in Turkey to international platforms to achieve results: “We point out the situation of opposition politicians, journalists, academics and NGO representatives and encourage European Union member states to take initiatives to ensure Turkey respects the rule of law and human rights.”
The minister said Sweden’s representatives in Turkey monitors cases of imprisoned opposition members and HDP administrators and that they encourage other countries to do the same.

Left Party MP Amineh Kakabaveh answered the ANF’s questions on the matter, and said she hasn’t received concrete answers to her questions to Wallstrom. Kakabaveh said she posed questions regarding the hunger strikes by Leyla Guven and other prisoners to end the isolation against Abdullah Ocalan: “Wallström says they talk about the matter in meetings with Turkish officials. It is important that Sweden does that, yes, but the country should also take concrete steps to end the isolation”.
Kakabaveh said Ocalan is the leader of a party with popular support and has been on an island for 20 years. The MP continued: “Rights all prisoners have should be in place for Ocalan as well. I also believe Ocalan should be released. Ocalan and all political prisoners should be released.” Kakabaveh said Margot Wallström should be demanding the release of political prisoners, and expressions of concern for developments in Turkey and joy at Leyla Guven’s release does not serve to resolve issues.
When asked what concrete steps they expect from Sweden, Kakabaveh said: “There should be more pressure on Turkey to respect human rights and release political prisoners”.

Kakabaveh said Turkey will have local elections by the end of March and added: “The pressure and arrests against the HDP continues. A political party with leaders and administrators in prison will participate in elections. The local elections are important, and I will request to discuss the matter in the parliament”.