HDP deputies get jail time for PKK terror group charges


Two opposition HDP lawmakers were sentenced by a Turkish court on Friday on account of being members of the PKK terrorist organization.

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced two opposition lawmakers for being members of the PKK terror organization.

Çağlar Demirel, a deputy from the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), had been remanded last December.

The 5th Diyarbakır Criminal Court gave Demirel seven years and six months in prison on the charges, which he denied.

Abdullah Zeydan, another HDP lawmaker, had been remanded in November together with several HDP lawmakers for failing to obey a summons to testify as part of a counter-terrorism investigation.

The same court sentenced Zeydan to five years in prison for being a member of the PKK terror organization.

The court also gave Zeydan three years and one month in prison for spreading terrorist propaganda.

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

Several HDP deputies, including party leaders Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, were arrested last November for allegedly failing to cooperate in a counterterrorism investigation.

The lawmakers began facing prosecution under anti-terrorism legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.

Since the PKK resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including many women and children.

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