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Demirtas facing up to 142 years on terrorism-related charges

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Demirtas facing up to 142 years on terrorism-related charges

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:03 pm

Pro-Kurdish opposition leader goes on trial in Turkey on terrorism-related charges

The jailed leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition went on trial on Thursday, 13 months after his arrest on terrorism-related charges, facing up to 142 years in prison in a case closely watched by rights groups and Western governments.

Selahattin Demirtas, the co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was not allowed to appear in court for security reasons and refused to take part via video link. A state prosecutor demanded he remain in jail during the trial.

A former human rights lawyer, Demirtas was arrested on Nov. 4 last year, one of more than a dozen HDP lawmakers who were arrested in a crackdown following last year’s attempted coup.

A crowd of several hundred gathered to show support for Demirtas in snowy weather outside the court near the capital Ankara. They joined hands and danced around small fires, singing songs in Kurdish. “Demirtas is our honour,” they chanted.

Demirtas and other detained HDP members are mostly accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, which has conducted a decades-old insurgency in which 40,000 people have been killed. The group is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and Europe. All of the accused deny the charges.

The HDP is the third-largest party in Turkey’s parliament. The party’s other co-leader, Figen Yuksekdag, also jailed pending trial on terrorism charges, was remanded in custody by an Ankara court on Wednesday.

PROTESTS BANNED

Demirtas is held in a jail in the northwestern city of Edirne. The case was to be held within the city of Ankara itself but was moved to the Sincan prison complex outside the capital, two days before the trial, because of security concerns.

European parliamentarians, Western diplomats and rights group representatives attended the session in the small court room with a capacity of 120 people. The HDP said 1,250 lawyers sought to defend Demirtas.

The HDP said in a statement the indictment largely consists of press releases and speeches Demirtas has made at conferences, panels and similar legal and political activities.

The charges aimed at Demirtas included “establishing a terrorist organisation”, “spreading terror group propaganda” and “praising crimes and criminals”.

Authorities banned protests across Ankara province for the three days until Friday for security reasons after the HDP called for protests to mark the hearing of Demirtas and other party officials, the governor’s office said in a statement.

About 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended and roughly 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial since last year’s failed coup. Rights groups and some Western allies say Erdogan has used the putsch as an excuse to quash dissent. The HDP says as many as 5,000 of its members have been detained.

Erdogan says such measures were necessary given the danger represented by the putsch in which 250 people were killed.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-turke ... E111T?il=0
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Demirtas facing up to 142 years on terrorism-related charges

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Re: Demirtas facing up to 142 years on terrorism-related cha

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:29 pm

Demirtas and other detained HDP members are mostly accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, which has conducted a decades-old insurgency in which 40,000 people have been killed. The group is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and Europe. All of the accused deny the charges.


1) Every time Kurds have their own political party it is banned

2) Articles 68 and 69 of the Turkish Constitution state that political parties shall be permanently dissolved if they are in conflict with the indivisible integrity of Turkey’s territory or nation or incite citizens to commit crime. The Court accused the DTP of connections with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) BYE BYE DTP

3) Demirtas should have read about what has happened to previous Kurdish parties before openly showing support for Ocalan and PKK :ymdevil:

4) I firmly believe that having openly shown support for the PKK - Demirtas best form of defence is attack - and that he should go all out in his support of the PKK, pointing out the PKK's participation in the removal of ISIS

5) Instead of everyone putting their efforts into helping Demirtas, they should put those efforts into removing the PKK from the banned list then Demirtas would not have anything to answer for and will gain even more support form the Kurdish population

6) Just over a week ago the European Parliament issued an updated list of people and groups prohibited from its premises, including the PKK terrorist group - this will NOT help Demirtas gain any international support

7) I would like to see experienced Kurdish political leaders such as Remzi Kartal being allowed to return to Turkey and take their rightful place in Kurdish politics

8) Remzi Kartal has more intelligence and dedication in his little finger than Demirtas has in his entire body - Remzi Kartal dedicates his entire life to Kurdish politics - I would much rather he were leader :ymparty:
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