Turkey: HDP opposition leaders threatened with five years' jail

August 12, 2016
Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş
Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş. Photo: Kurdishinfo.com

Left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP and Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder have both been indicted and threatened with five years imprisonment after the removal of their parliamentary immunity.

Bakırköy Public Prosecutor prepared an indictment against Demirtaş and Önder on grounds of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” in their speeches at a rally in Istanbul's Zeytinburnu district on March 17, 2013.

The indictment states that Demirtaş and Önder have yet to testify although they received invitations to convey their defence and evidences with regards to the crime they are accused of, adding that the prosecutor's office has not received written statements of defence either.

The indictment reads: “The suspects are deputies of a political party represented in the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey). The remarks they voiced in their speeches during the mentioned rally praised the leader and itself of the terrorist organisation PKK/KCK which seeks to separate a part of the country from state ruling through widespread violence and to found an independent Kurdistan state based on Marxist-Leninist principles, and which has carried out armed actions all around the country since 1984. The state has the right to expect the suspects, of political personalities, to abstain from expressions that praise terrorist activities in the country and reflect them as rightful.”

Despite remarking that Demirtaş and Önder's freedom of expression is being targeted in the lawsuit, the indictment defended that the European Convention on Human Rights does not present boundless freedom.

The indictment seeks one to five year prison sentences for Demirtaş and Önder for charges of “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation”.

The indictment has been referred to Bakırköy 2nd High Criminal Court.

[Republished from Firat News Agency.]

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