Selahattin Demirtaş, former Co-Chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), imprisoned in Edirne F Type Prison, was awarded the “Political Courage Award” given for the first time by the Paris based, François Mitterrand Institute.
HDP Foreign Relations Commission Co-Spokes person Hişyar Özsoy attended the ceremony in Paris to receive the award on behalf of Demirtaş. “Although it is given to me, I accept this award on behalf of all HDP people in prisons,” Demirtaş said in a letter to the award ceremony.
“For me and for millions of Kurds, there are actually two Mitterrands, François Mitterrand and Danielle Mitterrand. I pay tribute to both valuable figures who left their mark in our memories and contributed greatly to European values. As is known, despite the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and the Grand Chamber, I am still being held in Edirne Prison, so I can’t be there with you. I believe that this great lawlessness, which erodes European values, will end one day with your support and our resistance.” imprisoned HDP politician Selahattin Demirtaş said in the letter.
The François Mitterrand Institute president Hubert Védrine who is also a former French foreign minister, said the award should be seen as political and symbolic support for Demirtaş and the HDP’s ongoing struggle.
Letter from the Institute
The letter written to Selahattin Demirtaş by the François Mitterrand Institute stated:
“This award aims to honour a French or foreign person or organisation for their activities or works. The prize jury is impressed by your perseverance, courage and dedication. We hope this award will help you overcome your imprisonment, quickly regain your freedom, and continue your fight for democracy and social justice.”