Former co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, and Sırrı Süreyya Önder, former HDP MP have been sentenced to prison by the second criminal division of Istanbul Region Court of Justice.
Demirtaş received 4 years and 8 months while Önder was handed with a 3 year and 6 months prison sentence for ‘engaging in the propaganda of an armed terrorist group’.
The sentence was passed despite the European Court of Human Rights calling for the release of Demirtaş.
Demirtaş’s lawyer, Mahsuni Karaman protested the decision through his Twitter account. Demirtaş and Önder were put on trial at the Istanbul 25th criminal court for their statements made during the Kurdish solution process, a process started by then prime minister Tayyip Erdogan.
With this decision, Demirtaş has for the first time received a terrorism related sentence. There have been no comments made by HDP representatives.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan harshly criticized the decision of European Court of Human Rights requesting the release of Demirtaş.
“We are not bound by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. We make our counter move and finish this business. Terrorism does not stop,” Erdogan said in Parliament.