An Ankara court on Friday sentenced former leader of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas to two and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of “attacking officials” of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office.
Demirtas, a well-known Kurdish politician, had been detained since November 2016 for allegedly guilty of terrorism-related crimes. Two months ago he was also sentenced to three and a half years in prison for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The verdict, in which Demirtas participated via video conference, accuses the Kurdish leader, who denounced political persecution against him, of “attacking officials who work in the fight against terrorism,” reports the Anatolia news agency.
Demirtas is part of numerous legal proceedings against him, including one in connection with the demonstrations in various cities in Turkey in October 2014 to protest the situation in the city of Kobani in northern Syria, which was then besieged by Islamic State terrorists.
In addition to Demirtas, 33 other HDP members are being investigated for their alleged involvement in the acts of violence that took place during the protests in which dozens of people were killed.
The government increased pressure on the HDP after a prosecutor asked the Constitutional Court to dissolve it. The authorities accuse the establishment of links with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly insisted that Demirtas should be released “immediately”.