Court issues fifth prison sentence for former HDP co-leader Yüksekdağ
Former co-leader of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ, who was stripped of her status in parliament in February 2017, has been given another prison sentence in two other cases this week.
Yüksekdağ was sentenced to one year in prison by a court in a case she was accused of “overtly insulting the government of the Turkish Republic,” in its final hearing at the Adana 11th Criminal Court on June 7.
She was charged over a press statement and a speech she gave in the southern province of Adana in October 2015.
Yüksekdağ’s lawyer in court said she had used the same expressions in speeches she delivered in parliament, demanding she be convicted within her parliamentary immunity.
Yüksekdağ was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” in an interview she gave with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
On June 6, the court ruled that Yüksekdağ would be charged based on a march she attended in Köln, Germany to protest Turkish air strikes and that her interview with Deutsche Welle was a criminal offense.
This is the fifth sentence Yüksekdağ has received and is still being charged in 22 other cases. Four of the five convictions were jail sentences while one was a fine.
11 HDP lawmakers arrested
Ten HDP lawmakers including co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş are currently in prison over alleged terror charges.
Along with the co-leaders, HDP deputies Ayhan Bilgen, İdris Baluken, Abdullah Zeydan, Selma Irmak, Gülser Yıldırım, Çağlar Demirel, Burcu Çelik, Ferhat Encü and Besime Konca are also behind the bars.
According to the HDP’s legal office, the lawmakers have attended 203 hearings in total so far.