Turkish opposition party co-chair gets 5 months in jail

Court in northeastern Agri province sends HDP's Demirtas to jail for insulting Turkish nation and institutions.

A court in northeastern Agri province sentenced opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtas to five months in jail on the charge of insulting the Turkish nation and state institutions, a judicial source said Tuesday, according to Anadolu Agency.

According to the Dogubayazit Second Regional Court’s order, the HDP leader faces jail time for “insulting Turkish nation, the state of Turkish Republic and public organs and institutions,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

Earlier Tuesday, Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Figen Yuksekdag was removed from her seat in the Turkish parliament following her conviction on terrorism charges, the parliament announced on its official website.

Ayse Nur Bahcekapali, the parliament’s deputy chief, said the HDP co-leader had become ineligible for her parliamentary seat after the court upheld the sentence in accordance with Articles 76 and 84 of the country’s Constitution.

More than a dozen HDP deputies were arrested on terrorism-related charges in November 2016. Ten of them, including Demirtas remain in custody pending trial. The lawmakers began facing prosecution under an anti-terrorism legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.

Turkey’s government accuses the HDP of being linked to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.


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