Jail sentence against Kurdish MP Leyla Zana overturned in appeal
DİYARBAKIR – Anadolu Agency
Leyla Zana became a symbol of free speech across the world after serving 10 years in prison for speaking Kurdish while pronouncing her parliamentary oath in 1991. DAILY NEWS photoThe Supreme Court of Appeals on Jan. 8 overturned a 10-year jail sentence issued against independent Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana.
Zana had been imprisoned to 10 years in prison by a local court in Diyarbakır for allegedly conducting propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The court cited nine separate speeches she had made.
However, in overturning the ruling, the Supreme Court stated that evidence of Zana’s alleged membership of the PKK was “not credible.”
“Certain and credible evidence proving that the suspect was part of the structure of the armed terror organization, and sufficient to condemn her, was unable to be collected,” it said.
Zana became a symbol of free speech across the world after serving 10 years in prison for speaking Kurdish while pronouncing her parliamentary oath in 1991. She was ultimately released in 2004 and once again became an MP after the June 2011 elections.