Turkish court gives 10-year prison sentence for pro-Kurdish HDP deputy Irmak

Pro-Kurdish HDP's Hakkari deputy Selma Irmak

A Turkish court has given 10-year prison sentence to pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP)  jailed Hakkari deputy Selma Irmak on Friday.

Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court has sentenced Irmak to 10 years in prison on alleged charges of “membership to a terrorist organization” and “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The court also ruled for the continuation of imprisonment for Irmak.


Meanwhile, HDP Central Executive Board released a statement on Thursday regarding the letter of Turkish Justice Ministry that was sent to the Kayseri Chief Prosecutor’s Office and all courts responsible for HDP’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş’s cases.

The statement said that “The Turkish Justice Ministry sent a letter, dated October 13, 2017, to the Kayseri Chief Prosecutor’s Office and all courts responsible for HDP’s co-chair Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş’s cases. This official note, marked as confidential and titled as General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses of the Ministry of Justice, intends to influence the courts.”

Reminding that the court in Kayseri had previously concluded that Demirtaş had to be brought to the hearing to testify, the statement underlined that the Ministry of Justice has instructed the courts with this confidential note that such decisions should not be made.

The statement urges “The Justice Ministry does not have the right to give such unlawful instructions to courts. This instruction is in violation of the Constitution of Turkey (Article 138). The right to a fair trial is clearly violated. In the same note, Mr. Demirtaş is referred to as ‘under arrest in the position of a militant with the charge of being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.’ This sentence is a clear sign that the Justice Ministry has already made the decision on Mr Demirtaş and is now pressuring the courts to ratify it.”

Pointing that the note is evidence that the courts are under heavy political pressure and manipulation, HDP statement has continued as follow: “The judiciary is forced to act under instructions of executive organs, and is made dependent and biased. Presidents and members of the courts are not allowed to make independent and free decisions. This is a judicial manipulation that we did not witness even during martial law and military junta times.

“We condemn and protest this unlawful and irrational instruction. This note, which is unacceptable also according to the international law and international democratic conventions of which Turkey is a signatory party, has once again revealed how relations between judicial and executive bodies in Turkey are organized and work.

“These ‘legal cases,’ which in reality are political revenge operations carried out under the instructions of the AKP’s chair, ministers and administrators, will be recorded in history as a disgrace.”


Moreover, 4 out of the 11 people who had been detained in Şanlıurfa province 14 days ago over their critical social media posts, have been jailed after appearing at court on Thursday.

Eleven people, who were detained during house raids conducted by the police and gendarmerie in Şanlıurfa province and its districts, were referred to court on Thursday after 14 days in police custody While the detainees were accused of “spreading terrorist propaganda” in their social media posts, 7 were released after giving statement, two of them facing a ban to leave the country.

The other four detainees, Kemal Baysan, Yasin Pişkin, Hasan Karakurt and Mahmut Uygurlar, were arrested by the court and sent to Hilvan T Type Prison for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.”

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