ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A regional Turkish court in the city of Gaziantep upheld a prison sentence of two years and six months for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) lawmaker Besime Konca on Thursday.
Konca received the sentence in early June in a local court in Batman on the grounds of “terrorist” propaganda for banned the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that is fighting the Turkish troops for larger Kurdish rights, Kurdistan24’s Diyarbakir bureau reported.
Police arrested Konca, who represents the Siirt Province, late in May for the third time since last year and authorities have held her under detention since then.
Her lawyers took the case to the higher court in Gaziantep in the hope of overturning the sentence.
In her first trial in June, she had rejected the charges of a local prosecutor and invoked her right to immunity from prosecution as an MP.
Konca's attendance in Batman at the funeral of a high-ranking PKK fighter whom Turkish government forces killed in March 2016 in central Sur district of Diyarbakir led to the decision against her.
In May 2016, the Turkish Parliament passed a bill proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that stripped lawmakers of immunity.
The main opposition the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the minority block of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supported the bill that until now has disproportionately targeted the HDP.
The historic Sur was the scene of a five-month-long battle between PKK and Turkey which imposed a curfew as the decades-long conflict erupted again after the 2013-2015 ceasefire.
Konca is the fourth HDP lawmaker the Turkish judiciary has sentenced to imprisonment.
Two of those convicted, the former co-chair of HDP Figen Yuksekdag and Nursel Aydogan, have also lost their seats at the Parliament.
Konca now similarly face the threat of expulsion from the Turkish National Assembly.
The crackdown on HDP has seen its Co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and 11 other lawmakers imprisoned.
Editing by Ava Homa