HDP deputy detained on charges of insulting Erdoğan

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HDP deputy Leyla Birlik (L) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Şırnak deputy Leyla Birlik has been detained on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Birlik, who was detained at her home on Tuesday morning, was taken to a courthouse in Şırnak due to an investigation launched into her on accusations of insulting Erdoğan.

The government has been criticized for stepping up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians.

There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey. 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.

Scores of people in Turkey have been detained or arrested or are under investigation on allegations of insulting Erdoğan.

As of the end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media.

A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016.

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