Kurdish politician’s arrest based on International Women’s Day flowers, says deputy

The reason for the August 13 arrest of Belma Nergiz, the Muş provincial co-chair for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), appears to be that she accepted flowers the party had passed out as part of International Women’s Day celebrations, HDP deputy Dilan Dirayet Taşdemir said on Thursday.

Another HDP official in the eastern Muş province, Çiçek Tutuş, was called in to the police headquarters in the city to testify in relation to the case Nergiz was arrested in. She was asked about a conversation with Nergiz, Mezopotamya Agency reported.

“They invent crimes so they can arrest our friends”, Taşdemir said.

“It has been discovered that the HDP Muş offices gave out flowers to women in the city centre on March 8 International Women’s Day,” the police said during Tutuş’s testimony, asking her to provide details for what the two women spoke about.

A record of a phone call between the two HDP members shows Nergiz asking Tutuş to bring the bouquet she forgot in the party offices to her. In the conversation, the description of the bouquet, “the white one next to friend Serhat”, is highlighted.

Nergiz then asks Tutuş whether her mother was home yet, and asks her to give her and another woman named Pınar her greetings.

The HDP provincial co-chair was detained in a house raid on Aug. 11 and arrested two days later on charges of membership in a terrorist organisation. According to reports by Mezopotamya, the evidence or reason for her arrest remains unknown.

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