Sep 07 2018

Demirtaş and Önder, prominent pro-Kurdish opposition figures, sentenced to prison

The leading figures of the pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder were sentenced to prison by a Turkish court in Istanbul, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Friday. 

Demirtas was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison while Önder was sentenced to three years and six months at the same hearing, for their speeches at a Kurdish new year celebration (Newroz) during the peace process, in 2013.

The peace process launched tentatively October 2012 with the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resolve Turkey's long-standing Kurdish Question.

HDP criticised the court's decision on Twitter, as saying "This verdict is the AKP government’s decision to continue its policy of war." 

Demirtaş has been held in a maximum-security prison in the eastern city of Edirne for the nearly last two years awaiting sentencing. With this decision, Demirtas was punished for the first time with the terror charges.