5-month sentence given to jailed HDP Co-chair Demirtaş over insult charges

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Imprisoned co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş

A court in eastern Turkey has handed down a prison sentence of five months to jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş on charges of insulting the Turkish nation, republic and state institutions.

The prison sentence was given to Demirtaş by the Doğubeyazıt 2nd Penal Court of First Instance in the eastern province of Ağrı on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear on which occasion Demirtaş committed the insult crime.

Demirtaş was arrested in a police operation on Nov.4 along with eight other HDP deputies including the other HDP co-chair, 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.

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

 

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