ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The imprisoned former co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey is facing a sentence of 10 years in jail on terror-related charges, prosecutors said.
Figen Yuksekdag, the former co-leader of the HDP, was arrested in November 2016 on charges of “terrorist propaganda” and “defaming the Turkish Republic.”
Despite her absence on Monday, the Mersin 2nd Heavy Criminal Court continued Yuksekdag’s case where prosecutors pushed for a 10-year sentence.
The charges were laid against Yuksekdag over a speech she delivered at a Kurdish New Year (Newroz) celebration in the southern province of Mersin last year.
The former HDP co-leader’s lawyer Gulseren Yoleri told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News there were several other court cases filed against Yuksekdag.
“There are currently more than 20 cases ongoing in different courts,” she said. “There are also eight different investigations by prosecutors filed against her.”
Yoleri said the separate investigations filed against Yuksekdag would most likely be turned into cases where she would possibly face different sentences with more jail time.
The former co-leader is currently facing 30 to 83 years in prison for “inciting to commit a crime” and “inciting the public to hatred and hostility” in a case in Ankara with another hearing scheduled for later this month.
The Turkish government has been cracking down on the press and pro-Kurdish parties since a failed military coup last July.
Since last year, Yuksekdag and the other co-leader of the HDP Selahattin Demirtas, along with 10 other lawmakers, have been detained without a trial.
Editing by Ava Homa