Motion filed against pro-Kurdish HDP deputy in Turkish Parliament for alleged ‘terror propaganda’

Jailed HDP deputy Çağlar Demirel.

A motion has been filed against pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır deputy Çağlar Demirel for allegedly disseminating “terrorist propaganda” by the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office, CNN Türk reported on Tuesday.

The motion said Demirel made a speech on July 1, 2016 on the occasion of events held to mark the anniversary of the death of 37 people in Sivas on July 2, 1993 and referred to operations by Turkish security forces as “fascism,” “torture” and “violence.”

Demirel’s speech was seen as legitimizing the armed conflicts of terrorist groups and she was accused of praising terrorism and encouraging the use of terrorist methods.

Since Demirel is a deputy, a permission is needed for the removal of her parliamentary immunity. If her immunity is removed, legal action will be taken against the deputy, who could be sentenced to between one-and-a-half and five years in prison on charges of terrorist propaganda.

Meanwhile, the HDP deputies have initiated a “conscience and justice watch” in front of the Constitutional Court in Ankara, demanding the start of a belated trial process for the party’s jailed co-chair and other deputies. Speaking to reporters outside the court on Tuesday, HDP spokesperson Osman Baydemir said the hearing in which party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is being tried under arrest has not yet been held, despite Demirtaş being in jail for over 300 days. Baydemir also said the HDP deputies are being “illegally held hostage upon the order of the government.”

“The will of 6,5 million people [who voted for the HDP] and their right to vote and stand for election have been seized unconstitutionally. We are here today to end this seizure and injustice,” he said, accompanied by HDP Deputy Group Chair Ahmet Yıldırım and deputies Dirayet Taşdemir, Meral Danış Beştaş and Garo Paylan.

“Late justice is not justice. Delaying justice amounts to intervening in the judiciary,” Baydemir said, demanding an urgent decision from the court over the continued arrest of the jailed party figures. The HDP delegation also demanded a meeting with Constitutional Court head Zühtü Arslan before starting their watch at the court.

The government has been criticized for stepping up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians.

There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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