Court releases HDP lawmaker in Turkey’s southeast
A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on April 21 released from jail Nursel Aydoğan, a lawmaker from the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The Diyarbakır Fourth Heavy Penal Court ruled for the release of HDP Diyarbakır deputy Aydoğan on condition of judicial control.
Aydoğan, who participated in the hearing from the prison where she was being held in Istanbul’s Silivri via the voice and video informatics system (SEGBİS), denied all charges against her in the indictment, including “being a member of an armed terrorist organization,” “making a terror organization’s propaganda,” “praising crime and criminals,” and “inciting people to hate and enmity.”
The prosecutor is seeking up to 103 years in prison for Aydoğan, who was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016.
Asked about “the reason for her participation in the funeral of a terrorist,” Aydoğan said she “didn’t do anything to carry out propaganda.”
“Hundreds of bodies were arriving in Diyarbakır between 2011 and 2012. The owners of the funerals were people on duty in our party. I knew most of them. A majority of the people who voted for our party were demanding that we attend the funerals and express condolences. I participated in the funerals in order to defend their rights. I was participating upon the decision of the political party I’m a member of,” Aydoğan told the court.
The court subsequently accepted her request for pre-verdict release.
Some 13 lawmakers from the HDP, including its co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, face hundreds of years in jail for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).