[UPDATE] Former Kurdish politician Ayna released on judicial probation

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Kurdish lawmaker Emine Ayna (C) speaks to reporters in Ankara on December 29, 2009.

A former co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Emine Ayna, who was detained on Thursday in her Diyarbakır home, was released on Friday on judicial probation.

Ayna, who had quit politics, was taken into custody as part of an ongoing crackdown on Kurdish politicians.

On March 20, Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US-based international nongovernmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, said an ongoing crackdown on democratically elected Kurdish officials in Turkey not only violates their rights to political association and participation and freedom of expression, but also interferes with the rights of constituents who voted for them and whom they serve while in office.

The Turkish government has jailed 13 members of the pro-Kurdish democratic opposition in Parliament on terrorism charges and taken direct control of 82 municipalities in the Kurdish southeast region, suspending and incarcerating elected mayors, HRW said in a report.

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