TURKEY

Opposition HDP lawmaker Konca released from prison

OPPOSITION HDP LAWMAKER KONCA RELEASED FROM PRISON

An opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker, Besime Konca, was released from prison on Saturday after the approval of her appeal against a 2.5-year prison sentence for disseminating terrorist propaganda.

The 2nd High Criminal Court in the southeastern province of Batman ordered Konca's release considering the five years she remained in custody. She was previously jailed in 2009 on terrorism charges, and released in 2014.

Konca, a lawmaker for Siirt province in southeast Turkey, was jailed for two-and-a-half years on May 29 by the Batman court on a series of charges which included membership of an armed terrorist organization and making terrorist propaganda.

Her lawyers had appealed the jail term, but the ruling was upheld on July 13 by a court in the southern province of Gaziantep.

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.

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