Prosecutor requests HDP deputy's immunity be lifted

Published 24.08.2017 23:10

Prosecutors in southeast Turkey on Thursday submitted a request to remove a Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker's parliamentary immunity over terrorism allegations, an official said.

Sibel Yiğitalp is the latest HDP deputy to be targeted over alleged ties to the PKK terrorist organization.

An official at the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Yiğitalp faces charges of making terrorist propaganda and insulting the government, police and military in a speech she gave at a party congress in August last year. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

The speech, given in the Sur district of Diyarbakır, was broadcast by the Kurdish Med Nuçe TV station. The request to remove her immunity was submitted to the Justice Ministry.

Yiğitalp faces up to seven years in prison if prosecuted and convicted.

The government has linked the HDP to the PKK, which is considered a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU. The HDP denies ties to the group. Having won 59 seats in Parliament in the November 2015 general election, the HDP now has 55 deputies after four were stripped of their parliamentary status over ties to the PKK and absenteeism. Nine HDP deputies, including party Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş, are currently in prison awaiting trial on terrorism charges after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.

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