Pro-Kurdish HDP deputy Baluken faces up to 47 years in jail on terror charges

An indictment prepared by a Diyarbakır prosecutor seeks a jail sentence of between 11 and 47 years for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy İdris Baluken on alleged terror charges.

Baluken, who is also HDP parliamentary group deputy chairman, was released from jail on January 30, 2017 after spending nearly three months behind bars. However, he was re-arrested in Ankara on February 21 after a Diyarbakır court issued an arrest warrant for him.

A case was launched against Baluken on charges of “membership in an armed terror group”, “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state”, “disseminating propaganda for a terror organization” and “taking part in illegal demonstrations.”

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 have been arrested on terror charges. There are currently 10 HDP deputies behind bars including the party’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ. The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries. (

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