Court sentences HDP lawmaker İdris Baluken to 16 years, eight months in jail
The Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court has sentenced İdris Baluken, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker for the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, to 16 years and eight months in jail for “membership to a terrorist organization,” “making terrorist propaganda” and “opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations.”
Baluken had been arrested along with HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in November 2016, but was released in January 2017 at the request of a prosecutor.
He was rearrested on Feb. 21, 2017 and has been behind bars in Ankara’s Sincan Prison since then.
With the latest state of emergency decree issued on Dec. 24, 2017, prosecutors were given the authority to object to the release decisions of courts.
Speaking outside a court in Diyarbakır, HDP co-leader Serpil Kemalbay said the ruling is “politically motivated.”
“A lawmaker who only carried out his job has been sentenced unlawfully here,” Kemalbay said.
A total of 27 deputies were detained and released after Nov. 4, 2016 over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Nine HDP lawmakers are currently in jail.