Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights defender and former lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who was was stripped of his parliamentary status in March and subsequently jailed for a social media post, has been released from prison five days after a ruling by Turkey’s Constitutional Court.
His son, Salih, shared a video on Twitter showing a prison bus carrying Gergerlioğlu with the comment, “The moment of release.”
Tahliye anı pic.twitter.com/V9xDLJPUnC
— Salih Gergerlioğlu (@salihro) July 6, 2021
The top court had ruled that Gergerlioğlu’s right to stand for election and engage in political activities as well as his right to liberty and security were violated through his imprisonment.
Gergerlioğlu was stripped of his status in parliament on March 17 after conviction of disseminating “terrorist” propaganda in a 2016 social media post, where he commented on a story that reported on outlawed Kurdish militants calling on the Turkish state to take a step towards peace.
A two-and-a-half-year jail sentence handed down to him on Feb. 21, 2018 was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals on Feb. 19, 2021, and the 55-year-old politician, who has shone a light on controversial topics including torture and prison strip-searches in Turkey’s prisons and detention centers, was taken into custody at his home on April 2 and sent to prison.