Leading Kurdish politician sentenced to 10-months in prison


HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ. File photo

ARA News 

Urfa – The co-Chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Figen Yüksekdağ, received a 10-month jail sentence on Wednesday for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”

Yüksekdağ was convicted for giving a speech at the funeral of a member of the underground Marxist–Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) in 2012. Seven Kurdish politicians from the HDP, including Yüksekdağ, were convicted for attending the funeral.

While the HDP has no official ties with the MLKP, owing to the latter’s violent Hoxhaist ideology, they are both resolutely hostile to the Islamic State (ISIS) and jihadism. The MLKP has sent volunteers to Northern Syria – Rojava and Sinjar to protect minority communities.

“We will not surrender,” Yüksekdağ said in response to the verdict. “We will be the end and the curse for the dictatorship [in Turkey].”

While in the past it was impossible to charge lawmakers in Turkey, last May a decision was made to lift the immunity of some parliamentarians. Of Turkey’s 59 Kurdish MPs, 53 are currently being investigated by Turkey’s prosecutors. The overwhelming majority of the cases stem from the expression of objectionable ideas.

Today’s ruling comes just a few days after the Turkish 5th High Criminal Court in Şanlı Urfa Province imposed a travel ban on Yüksekdağ.

The HDP rebuked the court for its handling of the case and said that the relevant facts were unfounded and manufactured. The pro-Kurdish party went further, describing the verdict as “politically motivated unlawful.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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