ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Lawyers in Turkey have applied for the release of Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas who has been in prison for three years.
A source from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said that Demirtas’ lawyers had applied on Wednesday for the party’s former co-chair to be released on parole, Reuters reported.
Demirtas has been in pre-trial detention since 2016, serving a sentence of four years and eight months on a separate charge.
Last week, a Turkish court ruled for the imprisoned Kurdish leader’s release.
The 19th Assize Court of Ankara “ruled unanimously” on Sept. 2 for the release of the former HDP co-chair, the party said on its official Twitter page at the time.
“Demirtas should be released immediately,” it added, noting the politician had been “unlawfully imprisoned.”
The Turkish government accuses the HDP of having close ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an allegation it has used to justify its crackdown on Kurdish politicians. The HDP denies links to the PKK.
Turkish police arrested Demirtas along with 10 other MPs in simultaneous night raids across several provinces on Nov. 4, 2016, with charges of terrorism and separatism based on various public speeches they had delivered.
In a larger, ongoing case, prosecutors have asked up to 142 years for him in different probes, including one involving accusations he insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but no conviction has been delivered.