human rights watch

onsdag 23 maj 2018

Turkey’s Kurdish HDP politician Idris Baluken sentenced to over 16 years in prison

Turkey’s Kurdish HDP politician Idris Baluken sentenced to over 16 years in prison.

DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— 16 year and 8-month prison sentence given to the Kurdish Amed MP of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Batman MP candidate Idris Baluken for June 24 elections, has been upheld, Firat news agency ANF reported.
Baluken was among 12 deputies who were detained  on November 4, 2016 on charges of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK which they deny, including the party’s co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, but was the first among them to be formally arrested by court.
Baluken was released on January 30, 2017. Upon an appeal against his release, he was jailed again on February, 17, 2017.
Antep Regional Courts of Justice has approved the 16 year and 8-month prison sentence given to Baluken on Wednesday.
Baluken has been jailed pending trial for 18 months for alleged “membership to a terrorist organisation”, and having links to PKK.
In May 2016, parliament voted to strip lawmakers of their legal immunity, paving the way for the HDP legislators’ arrests.
Thousands of officials from the HDP have been detained since 2015. Turkey detained 200 HDP members in December 2016.
The government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK, a charge that the HDP denies.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.
A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.
In March 2018, a Turkish court sentenced Kurdish HDP MP Dilek Ocalan to two years and six months in prison over her speech in a funeral of a PKK guerrilla in February 2016, as part of the Turkish crackdown against Kurdish political movement.

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