TURKEY

HDP lawmaker gets jail time for terror changes

HDP LAWMAKER GETS JAIL TIME FOR TERROR CHANGES

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced an opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy to prison for spreading terrorist propaganda.

In southeastern Turkey, the Fifth Diyarbakir Criminal Court gave HDP Deputy Ibrahim Ayhan one year and three months in prison.

The suspect did not attend the trial, but his lawyers were in the courtroom.

Ayhan is accused of praising the actions of the terrorist group PKK through his remarks as well as his online posts. The court had sought a prison sentence of up to five years.

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 Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, 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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