Turkish court sentences pro-Kurdish HDP deputy Çelik to 6 years in prison

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) deputy Burcu Çelik.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Burcu Çelik has been sentenced to 6 years in prison on charge of aiding and abating a terror organization.

Being kept in Sincan Closed Women’s Prison, Çelik made her statement of defense via Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS) in the hearing at Muş 1st High Criminal Court. She was jailed on April 19 in the scope of a lawsuit in which she stood trial for “membership to and spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” due to her remarks in a rally.

The third hearing in the case was held at Muş High Criminal Court on Friday. Çelik has stated that she has fought for peace all her life, and will continue her struggle to this end.

The court acquitted Burcu Çelik on charges of “membership to and spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” but ruled continuation of detention and sentenced her to six years in jail, defining her political works as “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.”

Çelik’s lawyers will appeal against the court verdict. Turkey has already jailed HDP’s co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and 9 other deputies, along with 80 mayors and thousands of party members. The Turkish Parliament has ousted 5 of HDP deputies, bringing down the total number of party’s deputies from 59 to 54 at the 550-seat assembly.

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