Turkish court orders release of hunger-striking HDP MP Leyla Güven

Turkish court orders release of hunger-striking HDP MP Leyla Güven

DİYARBAKIR
Turkish court orders release of hunger-striking HDP MP Leyla Güven

A Turkish court has ordered the supervised release of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Güven, who has fallen critically ill after her 11-week hunger strike.

The Ninth High Penal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır gave the release order with a travel ban against leaving the country. Güven and her supporters didn’t attend the court hearing. But HDP supporters gathered outside the Diyarbakır prison and used buses and barricades to try to stop photographers from taking pictures of the MP.

Güven, 55, was elected as an HDP deputy for the southeastern province of Hakkari in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. 

The lawmaker was accused of terror activities following her statements and social media posts on Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch against the YPG in northwestern Syria.

She was arrested on Jan. 22, 2018 as part of a probe launched by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecutor demanded more than 31 years in jail for Güven in February after accusing her of “establishing and managing armed terrorist organization” as well as “making propaganda for terrorists.”

On June 29, the court ordered her release, however, an upper court later ruled that she should remain behind bars upon the appeal of the chief public prosecutor.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 29.

Güven’s hunger strike, which started on Nov. 8, was aimed at allowing lawyers and family members to visit PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been serving a life sentence on an island prison near Istanbul since his capture in 1999.

Öcalan met his brother Mehmet Öcalan for the first time in more than two years on Jan. 12, but details of the meeting have not been made public.

HDP, Leyla Güven, hunger strike, released