Top Turkish court rejects release request by jailed pro-Kurdish HDP deputy

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) on Thursday rejected a request for release made by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin deputy Gülser Yıldırım, who has been in jail since November of last year on terrorism charges.

The top court said Yıldırım’s arrest was within the law and that there was no violation of freedom of expression or her political rights.

Citing claims by Yıldırım that her arrest was illegal and against the Turkish Constitution, the top court said legal remedies had not been completely exhausted.

Slamming the Constitutional Court’s decision at a press briefing in Parliament, HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen, along with several other HDP deputies, said the AYM’s decision shows that it has taken sides with the government and relinquished its status in the international judicial system.

Constitutional courts exist to solve disputes on freedoms. [The decision of the AYM on Yıldırım’s request] shows that it is part of the political tutelage.”

Yıldırım, along with several other HDP deputies and Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 after being detained in Diyarbakır for allegedly disseminating the propaganda of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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