Opposition HDP co-chair Yüksekdağ receives one-year jail term

Opposition HDP co-chair Yüksekdağ receives one-year jail term

ISTANBUL
Opposition HDP co-chair Yüksekdağ receives one-year jail term

A Turkish court has sentenced Figen Yüksekdağ, a co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), to one year in jail on accusations of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization,” state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

The 22nd Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes passed the sentence after ruling out any reduction in sentencing for good behavior on the part of Yüksekdağ, who was arrested by Turkish authorities in November 2016.

In February 2015, Yüksekdağ participated in a rally which was organized on behalf of the HDP, Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) and outlawed Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) to protest the capture of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in Kenya in 1999, according to the indictment, which said the rally was not permitted.

Yüksekdağ was also accused of “praising crime and criminals” in a speech at a meeting and “making propaganda for outlawed organizations” and supporting Öcalan, who has been convicted of a crime, said the statement.  

The indictment had demanded a jail sentence of between 1.5 and 10 years in jail for the HDP co-chair.

The HDP largely focuses on the Kurdish issue.

On March 9, the HDP was informed that Turkey’s Supreme Court was stripping Yüksekdağ of her party membership.

Following the court’s decision, the party released a statement, saying that they would make the “necessary appeals against the decision in domestic and international law.”

“Electing, being elected and the right to engage in political activities are among the most basic political rights, which were regulated in the 67th article of the constitution. The framework of those rights was regulated with laws, particularly with Political Parties Law,” the statement said on March 9. 

Yüksekdağ, who has been in jail since Nov. 4, 2016, previously lost her parliamentary status for a prison sentence she received in a previous case.