Jailed HDP deputy Demirel given 90-month prison sentence on terror charges

Jailed HDP deputy Çağlar Demirel.

Çağlar Demirel, one of 11 jailed deputies from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has been handed down a prison sentence of 90 months on terror charges.

HDP Diyarbakır deputy Demirel was first detained on Dec. 12, 2016 in Ankara and arrested in Diyarbakır the next day. Demirel was given a 90-month sentence by the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The 4th Chamber of the Gaziantep Regional Court of Justice on Thursday has also upheld a two year, six month suspended sentence for HDP Siirt deputy Besime Konca. According to a lower court decision, Konca was convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda but received a suspended sentence considering the 23 days she spent in pretrial detention.

Meanwhile, the Cizre 3rd Penal Court of First Instance on Thursday acquitted HDP Şırnak deputy Ferhat Encü of insulting a public official and preventing them from carrying out their duties. On June 9, the Şırnak 2nd High Criminal Court handed down a prison sentence of 55 months, 10 days on terror charges to Encü, one of 11 jailed deputies from the HDP.

Encü was first arrested in a police operation on Nov. 4 along with eight other deputies including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. He was released from Kandıra Prison in February but arrested again the same month.

Moreover, Diyarbakır Municipality Co-mayor Fırat Anlı, who was arrested on terror charges last October, was released from jail on Friday.

Anlı and the Diyarbakır Municipality’s other co-mayor, Gültan Kışanak, were detained on Oct. 25 and arrested on Oct. 30 on charges that they had disseminated the propaganda of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), called for autonomy for Kurds and allocated municipal vehicles for the transportation of the bodies of PKK militants killed during clashes with the security forces. Anlı was released from Elazığ Prison, where he has been incarcerated since January.

Also on Friday, 17 members of the HDP, including district executive for İzmir’s Menemen district Ramazan Yavuz, were detained in police raids in the early hours of Friday. According to the Dihaber news agency, İzmir police raided the houses of HDP members as part of an investigation launched by the İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the social media posts of the suspects. Police seized mobile phones, computers and some pictures belonging to the suspects during the raids.

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians and co-chairs have been arrested on terror charges. Currently, 11 HDP deputies including HDP Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş are in jail. The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 14, 2017

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