A lawmaker for the opposition pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was acquitted of three charges in a Diyarbakır courtroom on Tuesday.
The acquittal came after the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır had asked for a 20-year prison sentence in the case of Leyla Zana, an HDP lawmaker from eastern Ağrı province.
On Tuesday, Diyarbakır's 5th Criminal Court acquitted Zana on the grounds of "insufficient evidence for a conviction."
According to the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Zana was accused of being a member of an armed terrorist organization, disseminating terrorist propaganda and illegal assembly.
Zana was detained on Feb. 8 for failing to answer a summons linked to a counterterrorism investigation. She was released under judicial control later the same day.
HDP politicians have long been accused of openly voicing their support for the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. HDP lawmakers are also known for glorifying suicide bombers, inciting violence, provoking hatred and even providing assistance to terrorists. Several HDP deputies including party leaders Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş were arrested last November for allegedly failing to cooperate in a counterterrorism investigation.
Demirtaş is accused of provoking the public towards violence during the Kobani protests of October 2014, which led to the deaths of 50 people. Demirtaş is quoted as having said: "We call on all of our citizens to go out onto the streets and take action. From now on, Kobani is everywhere. We are announcing an indefinite resistance movement until this brutal aggression and siege comes to an end in Kobani."
HDP co-Chairman Figen Yüksekdağ offered condolences to PKK terrorists, attending the funerals of PKK members and inciting violence several times. During a speech she gave on July 19, 2015, Yüksekdağ said that, "We lean on the [PKK's Syrian offshoots the] YPJ [Women's Protection Units], the YPG [People's Protection Units] and the PYD [Democratic Union Party] and we do not see any harm in mentioning and defending this."HDP lawmakers began facing prosecution under counterterror legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.
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