Turkey’s top court rules freedom of expression of jailed lawmaker violated
Önder was sentenced on charges of “spreading terrorist propaganda” due to a speech he delivered at an event in 2013. He has been in prison since December 2018.
The top court has ruled that the deputy’s freedom of expression was violated. According to his lawyer, Önder can be released in the following days, local media reported.
On Dec. 6, 2018, Önder had turned himself in to authorities in the northwestern province of Kocaeli after a court on Dec. 4, 2018 upheld his prison sentence on terror charges.
He was sentenced to three years and six months in jail for “spreading terrorist propaganda” in a court decision together with former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş in September 2018. His jail term was upheld by the Istanbul Regional Court’s 2nd penal chamber on Dec. 4, 2018.
He has been serving his sentence at the Kandıra High Security Prison.
Around a dozen HDP lawmakers are currently in prison pending trial for terrorism-related offenses after their parliamentary immunities were lifted in May 2016.
The Turkish government has repeatedly accused the HDP, the third largest party in parliament, of having links to the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.