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Court upholds suspended sentence for deputy from pro-Kurdish HDP

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The 4th Chamber of the Gaziantep Regional Court of Justice on Thursday upheld a two year, six month suspended sentence for pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Siirt deputy Besime Konca.

According to a lower court decision, Konca was convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda but received a suspended sentence considering the 23 days she spent in pretrial detention.

Meanwhile, the Cizre 3rd Penal Court of First Instance on Thursday acquitted HDP Şırnak deputy Ferhat Encü of insulting a public official and preventing them from carrying out their duties.

On June 9, the Şırnak 2nd High Criminal Court handed down a prison sentence of 55 months, 10 days on terror charges to Encü, one of 11 jailed deputies from the HDP.

Encü was first arrested in a police operation on Nov. 4 along with eight other deputies including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. He was released from Kandıra Prison in February but arrested again the same month.

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 11 HDP deputies behind bars.

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

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