Turkey imposes travel ban on leading Kurdish politician for ‘supporting terrorists’

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HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ. File photo

ARA News 

Urfa – The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Sunday condemned a travel ban, which was placed on its co-chair, Figen Yüksekdağ. The Travel ban was imposed by the 5th High Criminal Court, which is located in Turkey’s southern Şanlı Urfa Province.

“This action is entirely arbitrary and in contradiction of all legal precedents,” the HDP’s Central Executive Board said in a statement.

Yüksekdağ’s freedom to travel was restricted as part of a larger case in which the prosecution is trying to prove that she has made “propaganda for [the Marxist–Leninist Communist Party] terrorist organization.” If convicted, the HDP’s co-chair could face up to 15 years in prison.

The High Criminal Court in its preliminary judgment granted the travel ban, citing the “existence of facts which raise suspicion that the accused will abscond.”

The HDP rebuked the court for its handling of the case and said that the relevant facts were unfounded and manufactured. “Yüksekdağ has traveled abroad countless times, participated in various meetings, held diplomatic and political talks and has always returned to Turkey,” the pro-Kurdish party said.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish bloc demanded that the highly politicized judgment be annulled forthwith. “We demand the immediate rescinding of this politically motivated unlawful travel ban concerning our co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ,” the HDP said.

The HDP declared that Yüksekdağ would continue to work on behalf of her constituents as the MP for the Kurdish-majority city of Van. They added that she would participate in Parliament and advocate on behalf of the oppressed, regardless.

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