The wife of Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), has been sentenced to a prison term of 2 years and 6 months alongside a medical doctor by a high criminal court on an allegation that a medical report enabling her to get ‘sick leave’ for five days did not bear the date that she was medically examined, but a date three days later.
A criminal case was filed against Başak Demirtaş in March 2018 for “getting a fake medical report.”
Lawyers of Başak Demirtaş issued a statement saying that the medical report concerned medical conditions that related to an operation she had in 2015 and the mistake regarding the date on the report had been made by the health institution that issued it.
“During the time, our client Başak Demirtaş had serious health problems,” the statement said. “She’d lost her baby in pregnancy and she had been examined and treated in the hospital on 4 November, 12 November, 16 November, 23 November, 25 November, 28 November, 30 November, 7 December and 9 December 2015 due to medical conditions related to it.
“She’d also had an operation in the same interval. As it had later become clear that her treatment would continue, she’d taken unpaid leave in the school she was teaching at, which covered the entire spring term. She had earlier been examined and received a medical report on 11 December that enabled her to have a five-day ‘sick leave.’ However, the date on the the report she’d been provided with had been incorrectly indicated as 14 December 2015.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had recently targeted Başak Demirtaş, saying that she appeared on TV and called for the release of her husband Selahattin Demirtaş.
“Wasn’t it Selo [Selahattin] who killed Yasin Börü?,” Erdoğan had said, referring to Yasin Börü who was killed in one of the violent incidents following a peaceful mass protest by Kurds calling for solidarity with the town of Kobane under the siege of the Islamic State in 2014.
“Wasn’t it Selo who urged people to go out to the streets?,” Erdoğan had continued. “Now they’re trying to get him out of jail. It’ll be the judiciary that will give the decision. You won’t be able to get him out of jail. The wife of Selo appears on TV, and says, ‘I’m living with my children innocently.’ Well, your children are innocent, and what about the family Yasin Börü left behind?”
Selahattin Demirtaş has been imprisoned since 4 November 2016, despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that called for his immediate release.