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[UPDATE] HDP deputies Bilgen, Beştaş detained on terror charges

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Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Ayhan Bilgen and Meral Danış Beştaş were detained on terror charges on Monday night after a Diyarbakır court issued arrest warrants for the two deputies.

According to a decision by the Diyarbakır 5th Penal Court of Peace on Monday night, Bilgen and Beştaş were detained on charges of “membership to a terrorist organization.”

HDP deputy Beştaş was briefly detained on Saturday, while HDP deputy and spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen was held by police for a short time on Sunday.

The Diyarbakır court issued arrest warrants for the two deputies due to an objection to their release filed by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Bilgen was detained at Diyarbakır Airport, while Beştaş was detained at her home in the same city.

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 Turkish courts in late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released from jail on Monday, bringing the number of jailed HDP deputies to 10.

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