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Jailed former HDP lawmaker gets 11 more years on terrorist propaganda charges

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A Turkish court has handed down a prison sentence of 11 years, seven months to a former lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on conviction of disseminating terrorist propaganda in her speeches, Turkish media reported.

The prison sentence for Leyla Güven, who was also a former co-chairperson of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and is currently in jail on another conviction, was handed down by the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court on Monday.

Güven was convicted of spreading terrorist propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in three of her speeches when she was a member of parliament.

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community and has been waging a bloody campaign in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

Güven’s daughter Sabiha Temizkan, a journalist, said her mother was convicted just for speaking.

“My mother Leyla Güven was given a prison sentence of 11 years, seven months due to speeches she made while she was a lawmaker. She is already serving a previous sentence of 22 years, three months. All of this is happening just for speaking,” tweeted Temizkan.

Ousted from the Turkish Parliament in June 2020, Güven is serving a prison sentence of 22 years, three months and an additional five years as a result of two separate convictions on terrorism-related charges and has been behind bars since December 2020.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) increased its crackdown on Kurds, especially after the collapse of Ankara’s reconciliation process with the outlawed PKK in 2015.

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