Court says Demirtaş inclined by personality to commit crimes 

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

An Ağrı court that handed down a prison sentence of five months to pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş on insult charges last month has said in its reasoned opinion that Demirtaş is inclined by virtue of his personality to commit crimes.

The Doğubeyazıt 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance in Ağrı province on Feb.21 handed down the prison sentence to Demirtaş due to a speech he made on March 19, 2016 during a Nevruz celebration in which he used the expression “government terrorism” to describe violent actions of the government in the country’s Southeast.

Announcing its reasoned decision on Monday, the court said the prison sentence given to Demirtaş was not suspended because the HDP co-chair is inclined to commit crimes due to his personality and based on his criminal record and his case dossiers registered in the National Judiciary Network Information System (UYAP).

The court said the sentence was not suspended also because Demirtaş did not show any signs of remorse and the court did not feel that he wouldn’t commit the same crime again.

According to the court, freedom of expression is not unlimited and Demirtaş’s remarks about an elected government do not fall within the boundaries of freedom of expression.

Demirtaş was jailed in November along with many other HDP deputies on terror charges. The Turkish government has been cracking down on Kurdish politicians for the past several months. It has jailed dozens of Kurdish politicians and appointed trustees to scores of municipalities run by pro-Kurdish mayors in the country’s Southeast.

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