Professor Onur Hamzaoğlu, the spokesperson of Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) umbrella, was released from prison for a day to attend his mother’s funeral in handcuffs.

Hamzaoğlu was earlier fired from his job at Kocaeli university with a decree issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He was detained by police in February 2018 after delivering a public speech in critical of the Turkish government and put in pre-trial detention by an Ankara court later the same day.

He is also one of the Turkish academics who signed a peace declaration in early 2016 criticizing the Turkish government for its violation of human rights and civilian casualties among the predominantly Kurdish population of eastern Turkey.

The declaration, signed by 1,128 academics in 2016, called on the government to halt operations by security forces in southeastern Turkey, restore peace to the nation and return to the negotiating table to restart shelved talks with the Kurds to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

Signatories of the peace declaration titled “We Will Not Be a Party to This [Turkish state’s] Crime” are facing accusations of disseminating terrorist propaganda.