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Indictment seeks 20-year jail term for HDP deputy Zana

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An indictment prepared by a Diyarbakır prosecutor seeks up to a 20-year sentence for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ağrı deputy Leyla Zana on terror charges.

In the 156-page-long indictment, Zana is accused of membership in a terror organization, taking part in illegal demonstrations and marches and praising a crime and a criminal.

The indictment has been accepted by the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court.

Zana was released after a brief detention in Diyarbakır last month.

Turkey has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish politicians in recent months. In addition to appointment of trustees to the management of scores of municipalities, Turkey has arrested dozens of Kurdish politicians including 13 HDP deputies.

A renowned Kurdish politician, Zana was imprisoned for 10 years for her political activism, which was deemed by the Turkish courts to be against the unity of the state. When she was a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), she was prohibited from joining any political party for five years with the Constitutional Court’s decision to ban this party.

She was awarded the 1995 Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament but was unable to collect it until her release in 2004. She has worked extensively to find a peaceful solution to Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem.

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