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Turkey sends pro-Kurdish deputy to pretrial detention in terrorism trial

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Amid an ongoing crackdown on Kurdish politicians in Turkey, a court has ruled for the arrest and pretrial detention of a former deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on terrorism charges, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The ruling was made by the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court on Wednesday at the start of the trial of former HDP deputy Hatice Kocaman on charges of terrorist organization membership, in which she faces a prison sentence of between seven-and-a-half and 15 years.

During Wednesday’s hearing, attended by Kocaman and her lawyer, the court ruled for the politician’s arrest and remand into pretrial detention despite a demand from her lawyer for an acquittal.

The court adjourned the trial to a later date. Kocaman was detained following the hearing and subsequently jailed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government accuse the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, leading to the prosecution of thousands of its members and some leaders. The HDP denies such links.

The party’s former co-leaders have both been jailed since 2016 on terrorism charges, with several other prominent members accused of supporting terrorism over what the government says are links to the PKK.

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