TURKEY

HDP spokesman Osman Baydemir sentenced to jail over insult

HDP SPOKESMAN OSMAN BAYDEMIR SENTENCED TO JAIL OVER INSULT

The spokesman of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was sentenced to more than a year in prison for insulting a security official, a Turkish court ruled on Thursday.

Osman Baydemir was sentenced to 17 months and 15 days in jail by the court in Diyarbakir province, in southeastern Turkey.

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

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 Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were arrested last November after they failed to answer a summons to testify as part of a counterterrorism investigation.

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