Turkey’s Top Court Upholds Selahattin Demirtas’ Jail Sentence As Kobane Show Trial Begins

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Selahattin Demirtas, in prison, 2018 photo

On the same day as the opening session, on Monday, of the ‘Kobane Trial’ of 108 members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Turkish Court of Cassation decided to uphold a four-year eight-month sentence against Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned HDP former co-chair.

HDP deputy Ümit Dede said yesterday that the timing of this decision by Turkey’s top court “shows that the ruling is part of the attacks to disband our party and our elected officials via the judiciary.” It also defies the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling last November that Demirtaş was being unlawfully held and should be immediately released.

“Accepting Erdoğan’s statement of ‘Then, we will make our counter move and get the job done’ after the ECtHR gave a ruling of immediate release for Demirtaş” said Ümit Dede, “the judicial institutions have once again done what is required by the political instruction it received.”.

The prosecution  in the Kobane show trial is seeking aggravated life imprisonment sentences for Selahattin Demirtas and the other 107 defendants, who are all members of the HDP, Turkey’s third-largest party.

In the UK Parliament this week an Early Day Motion, tabled with support from several MPs, “commends the work being done by the HDP in attempting democratic steps towards a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish question; and calls for the immediate release of those arrested and for the restoration of full democratic and civil rights for all people in Turkey”.

Source: Kurdistan Tribune

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