HDP lawmaker sentenced to six years in jail for alleged PKK links
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Van deputy Lezgin Botan speaks during an election rally.A court in Turkey's eastern province of Van has sentenced a lawmaker from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to a prison sentence of six years and three months on the charges of “being a member of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] terrorist organization."
The verdict came late Nov. 20 from Van's Second High Penal Court in a case where six suspects stood trial on charges of "being a member of the PKK terrorist organization and its affiliate KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union]."
Four of the suspects, including the HDP’s Van deputy Lezgin Botan and former HDP Van deputy Selami Özyaşar, were sentenced to six years and three months while two others were acquitted.
All four suspects were detained back in June 25, 2011 in Van during an operation by anti-terror squads.
The arrests were part of a nationwide dragnet on suspected Kurdish separatists and militants and led to the arrests of senior officials, journalists and lawyers.