Jailed deputy’s health deteriorates in 61st day of hunger strike

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Kurdish deputy Leyla Güven

The health of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven is continuing to worsen on day 61 of a hunger strike, the Mesopotamia news agency reported on Monday.

The news agency reported that the deputy is suffering from high blood pressure, nausea, headache, stomach cramps and sensitivity to sound and light.

As a result of her health issues, she has not been able to meet with her lawyers for the last couple of days.

The Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court, where she is standing trial on terrorism charges, in December ruled to keep Güven in jail.

Following Güven’s election to parliament in the general election of June 24, her lawyers petitioned the court for Güven’s release on the grounds that she acquired parliamentary immunity with her election, but the court has so far refused to release her.

During the latest hearing Güven’s lawyer reminded the court that a Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, Enis Berberoğlu, was released from jail although he was convicted of revealing state secrets.

Berberoğlu was released from jail in September after 15 months of imprisonment on espionage charges.

Güven was arrested on Jan. 31. She faces a prison sentence of between 17.5 and 31.5 years on charges of establishing and leading a terrorist organization, disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization and provoking the public to take part in illegal demonstrations.

Güven is currently on a hunger strike demanding the removal of the “heavy lockdown” of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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