Lawsuit against Leyla Zana demands prison sentence up to 21 years

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Zana.

A lawsuit filed against pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Zana has demanded up to 21 years in prison sentence over three different charges. Prosecutor has accussed Leyla Zana of doing victory sign, going to a building of Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and delivering a speech at March 8 International Women’s Day.

Leyla Zana was detained in Diyarbakır on February 8, 2017 and was released on probation by the court following the interrogation at prosecutor office. The indictment about Zana seeks from 8 to 21 years in prison on charges of “being a member of an armed terror group”, “opposing to law on demonstrations and meetings by not dispersing despite police warning”, “praising crime and criminal”.

Zana entered parliament as a Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) deputy for the first in general elections in 1991. On November 6, 1991 she was protested for ending her oath in Kurdish during an oath-taking ceremony in Turkish Parliament.

Parliamentary immunities of Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak, Orhan Doğan, Hatip Dicle, Ahmet Türk, Sırrı Sakık and Mahmut Alınak were lifted on March 2, 1994 because of a speech delivered by Zana in the US. The deputies were detained in the following day.

She was put in prison beside of Dicle, Sadak and Orhan on March 17, 1994. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison on December 8, 1994 with charge of “being a member of an illegal organization.” She was released from on June 8, 2004.

Turkey has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish politicians in recent months. In addition to appointment of trustees to the management of dozens of municipalities, Turkey has arrested dozens of Kurdish politicians including 13 HDP deputies.

March 1, 2017

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