Turkish Court Demands 142 Years for Demirtas, 83 for Yüksekdağ

The Chief Public Prosecutor of Diyarbakir in Turkey recommended in an indictment that  the co-leaders of the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, should serve 43 to 142 and 30 to 83 years in prison, respectively, in line with the scope of a “terror case.”
The indictments have already been presented to the High Criminal Court.

The prepared indictment stipulates that Demirtaş has been the manager of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), an organization founded by the PKK.

Per the indictment, Demirtaş has been accused of being a “terrorist organization manager,” “making propaganda for a terrorist organization,” “opposing the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations” and “publicly inciting hatred and hostility.”

In the indictment of Yüksekdağ, it was requested that she be imprisoned for 30 to 83 years “as a manager of terrorist organization because of activities and other actions in DTK (Democratic Society Congress) which is a legislative body in the organization.”

The co-leaders of the HDP, Demirtaş and Yuksekdağ, and other party lawmakers were detained in early November 2016, in part of what the Turkish government described as counter-terrorism investigations.

Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ reportedly initially had been detained for failing to respond to a summons for testimony in a probe by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of Diyarbakir.

Parliamentary immunity for parliamentarians was lifted in Turkey in May 2016 after a constitutional amendment was approved by parliament, allowing the Turkish state to investigate MPs for criminal or terrorist connections and prosecute accordingly.

The incumbent Turkish government has long charged the HDP with being connected with the PKK, a charge they have vehemently denied.

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