The former co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish party Selahattin Demirtaş was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison even as he has been already jailed since 2016.
The four years and eight months prison sentence given to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş was upheld by the Supreme Court on 26 April, when the first hearing of the Kobani Case began, MA reports.
The first hearing of the Kobane case commenced on 26 April, as part of a lawsuit that was filed against 108 people. They included the 28 politicians who had been arrested over the Kobani protests in 2014. HDP former Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are amongst the arrested defendants.
The Istanbul 26th High Criminal Court had sentenced Selahattin Demirtaş to a four years and eight months imprisonment sentence for the speech he made during the Newroz celebration in Istanbul on 17 March 2013.
The HDP’s Legal and Human Rights Commission Co-Chair Ümit Dede issued a written statement regarding the decision of the Supreme Court: “The fact that the Supreme Court approved this decision on 26 April, the day the Kobani Case started, shows that the decision is a part of the ‘elimination’ attacks that have been carried out by the judiciary against our party and our elected people”.
Dede stated that the judiciary “fulfilled the requirements of the orders” it was given. He declared the decision ”null and void”.
Upon hearing the decision of the Supreme Court, Demirtaş’ lawyers also made a written statement that pointed out that ”although all the cases against Demirtaş were combined with the main case ongoing at the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court, the case he was tried for – regarding his speech at the Newroz celebration in Istanbul – was carried out separately”.
In their statement, the lawyers also emphasized that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber on 22 December 2020 regarding Demirtaş’ ”violation of rights” and its calls for his ”immediate release” had not been implemented by Turkey.