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Former HDP MP Gergerlioglu released from prison after top court ruling

  2021-07-07  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) former lawmaker and politician Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu (L) is released from prison in Turkey, July 7, 2021. Photo by Gergerlioglu on Twitter
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) former lawmaker and politician Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu was released from prison on Tuesday (July 7), the HDP said.

Gergerlioglu, known for casting a light on strip searches in the Turkish jails, was sentenced to two years and six months in 2018 and was upheld by a top court in February on charges of propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He was stripped of his is parliamentary seat on March 2017 and was arrested on April 2.   

PKK is a Kurdish opposition group that has started an armed struggle against the Turkish authorities, calling for Kurds’ cultural rights. The HDP denies links to the PKK. 

On Thursday, Tukey’s Constitutional Court ruled that Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu's "right to be elected and to engage in political activities" and "the right to personal liberty and security" have been violated,” Bianet reported.

Earlier on Tuesday, a court in Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province ruled for the release of the former member of Turkish parliament, who has been behind bars on terror charges since April, Ahval News said..

Back in 2016, Gergerlioglu shared a news article in Twitter bringing a statement from the PKK outlawed in Turkey, saying “peace would come if the government takes one step forward.” 

“This call should be evaluated properly. There is no end to this work,” the HDP MP said at the time, referring to the decades-long armed fighting between Turkey and the PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey.

Gergerlioglu, a human rights activist, was sentenced to two years and a half on February 21, 2018 by a court after being accused of propagating for the PKK. 

He was elected into the Turkish parliament on the HDP ticket almost half a year after the court decree.

The HDP was founded in 2021 and is viewed as a substitute to now-banned Democratic Society Party (DTP) which was founded in 2005.  It denies any links to the PKK.
It has nearly 50 seats in the 600-member parliament.

Turkish authorities have imprisoned or unseated several HDP lawmakers, mayors and officials in recent year, fueling concerns about the state of human rights situation in Turkey.

On June 21, the Turkish constitutional court accepted a second indictment filed by the country’s top prosecutor general seeking the closure of the pro-Kurdish party and banning scores of its politicians. 

(Zhyan English)