Former HDP deputy released from prison after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruling

A jailed former member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish party, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, was released from prison on Friday after Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that his conviction violated his rights, secularist opposition daily Cumhuriyet reported.

The Turkish Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that sentencing the former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy for statements he made during speeches in 2013 was a violation of his right to freedom of expression.

In an interview after his release, Önder said Turkey’s Constitutional Court's ruling on July 26 that the Turkish judiciary had violated academics’ right to freedom of expression by charging them with terror offences for signing a petition for peace was a breaking point.

"Prisons became a natural station waiting for those who struggle for peace and democracy in this country," Önder said to T24.

Önder was jailed on Dec. 6 last year after a court upheld a three-year-and-six-month sentence on charges of making propaganda for a terrorist organisation. 

Önder was accused of making terror propaganda by praising Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in speeches he made in March 2013 during a ceasefire was declared between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

Following the 2015 collapse of the two-year ceasefire and the failed coup of 2016, the judiciary has launched a crackdown on the HDP, accusing of being in collaboration with the PKK.