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HDP deputy given suspended sentence for violating law on demonstrations

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Ayşe Sürücü, a deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has been handed down a suspended sentence of 20 months on charges of violating a Turkish law on meetings and demonstrations, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

A case was launched into Sürücü due to a speech she made at an event in November 2016 in which she allegedly disseminated the propaganda of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

A high criminal court in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa handed down the prison sentence to Sürücü on charges of attending rallies banned by the Şanlıurfa Governor’s Office in March 2016.

The HDP has been one of the main targets of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since a coup attempt in July 2016, following which the government launched a massive crackdown on its opponents under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. According to an HDP report released in December, 16 former deputies including the party’s former co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ as well as one current deputy are in currently in jail on terrorism charges.

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