Detention warrant issued for HDP deputy Öcalan

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Lawmaker of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Dilek Ocalan, niece of jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader, speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, on June 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

As a crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) continues, a Turkish court on Wednesday issued a detention warrant for HDP deputy Dilek Öcalan for disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization, CNNTürk has reported.

Dilek Öcalan, niece of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), faces up to five years in jail due to her participation in the funeral of PKK militant Mehmet Yılmaz on Feb. 23, 2016.

The detention warrant for Öcalan came a day after HDP deputy and party spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen was arrested on terror charges.

Bilgen, along with HDP deputy Meral Danış Beştaş, was detained on Monday night based on a decision from the Diyarbakır 5th Penal Court of Peace. Beştaş was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday.

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. With the arrest of two more HDP deputies, there are currently 12 HDP deputies behind bars.

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