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Arrest warrant issued for newly released HDP deputy Baluken

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A Diyarbakır court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy İdris Baluken, who was recently released from jail.

Baluken, who is also HDP parliamentary group deputy chairman, was released from jail on Jan. 30 after spending nearly three months behind bars.

A case was launched against Baluken on charges of membership in an armed terror group, disrupting the unity and integrity of the state, disseminating propaganda for a terror organization and taking part in illegal demonstrations. He is facing a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

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 hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges. There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars including the party’s Co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş.

The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.

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