The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is preparing to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on behalf of Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, who were jailed on Nov. 4 on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization,” the HDP announced on Sunday.
According to the statement, an HDP delegation including deputies Saruhan Oluç, Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Mithat Sincar, Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Osman Baydemir will apply to the ECtHR on Feb. 20 as part of a visit to Strasbourg.
An indictment prepared by a Diyarbakır prosecutor is seeking jail sentences of up to 142 years for Demirtaş and up to 83 years for Figen Yüksekdağ.
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 12 HDP deputies behind bars.