Turkey sentences former pro-Kurdish party spokesman to 16 years

A former spokesman for the majority-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has been sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in prison on terror charges, the Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

İdris Baluken, who has been in detention since his arrest on Nov. 4, 2016, was found guilty of belonging to an armed terrorist group, making propaganda for an armed terrorist group, and acting contrary to the law on demonstrations and marches.

“If it needs to be said what İdris Baluken has done to deserve this sentence, he was a HDP parliamentary whip and he carried out political activities as one of the most valuable members of parliament,” party co-chair Serpil Kemalbay said.

“He represented the will of 6 million people.”

Kemalbay also said that the law was being abused in political cases.

“This decision is not legal, it is political,” she said.

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