TURKEY

HDP spokesman Osman Baydemir detained for insulting police

HDP SPOKESMAN OSMAN BAYDEMIR DETAINED FOR INSULTING POLICE

The spokesman of HDP Osman Baydemir has been taken into custody on Friday for insulting police.

Spokesman of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Osman Baydemir has been taken into custody Friday afternoon.

A court in Diyarbakır issued an arrest warrant for the Şanlıurfa lawmaker on Tuesday after he failed to attend a trial hearing.

Baydemir is accused of insulting security forces in 2012, when he was mayor of Diyarbakır, after a protest attempt which was banned by the governor.

The spokesman has not denied the accusations, saying: "It is true that I used bad words at that time."

The charges carry a possible prison sentence of one to two years.

The Turkish government has accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.

A number of HDP deputies, including party leaders Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtas, were arrested last November after they failed to answer summons to testify as part of a counterterrorism investigation.

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