Up to 5 years in prison sought for two HDP deputies

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pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ağrı deputies Dirayet Taşdemir (R) and Berdan Öztürk

A prosecutor is seeking up to five years in prison for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ağrı deputies Dirayet Taşdemir and Berdan Öztürk on terror charges, in an indictment filed with the court, the t24 news website reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the two deputies are accused of attending the funerals of terrorists and disseminating terrorist propaganda.

The indictment claims the deputies attended the funerals in order to “justify the armed conflict between PKK/KCK [terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party/ Kurdistan Communities Union] members, who intended to destroy the indivisible integrity of the country, and security forces, encouraged the use of terror methods and attended the terrorists’ funerals with the goal of praising terrorism.”

Taşdemir and Öztürk did not attend the first hearing of their trial at an Erzurum court, which ruled that they are to be brought to court under police escort.

The deputies attended the funeral of five PKK members including Free Women Congress member Berjin Demirkaya, who died in a fight with security forces in Şırnak province and was buried on Feb. 26 in Erzurum province. The dossier of HDP Muş deputy Burcu Çelik Özkan, who attended the same funeral, was left out due to similar investigations by the Muş Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The trial will resume on Sept. 21.

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