Jailed former HDP leader’s letter to spouse confiscated by prison

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Başak Demirtaş, the wife of former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism, has revealed that the latest letter her husband wanted to have sent to her was confiscated by the prison administration, who deemed it discriminatory and insulting to the public, the T24 news website reported on Friday.

The incident was reported by Başak Demirtaş herself, who tweeted: “I just came back from visiting Selahattin. He was fine. He says hi to all. The last letter he wrote me was confiscated as it was found to be discriminatory and insulting to the public. I will file a lawsuit and certainly get it back.”

Demirtaş was arrested in November 2016 on terrorism charges. A court found him guilty in September of disseminating terrorist propaganda and sentenced him to four years, eight months in prison.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on Nov. 20 that Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified and ordered his release. Turkish courts refused to implement the ECtHR’s ruling, and a regional appeals court in Turkey on Dec. 4 upheld Demirtaş’s prison sentence.

The Kurdish politician ran from prison as a candidate against incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election in Turkey in June. Although he was unable to conduct an election campaign, he received 8.4 percent of the vote.

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