On the Sentencing of Ms.Nursel Aydogan, the Imprisoned HDP MP for Diyarbakır

Nursel Aydoğan was one of the 55 HDP MPs whose parliamentary immunities were lifted on May 20, 2016. She has 44 dossiers filed against her, most of which were based on her speeches or social and political events she had attended. She was among 10 MPs detained on 4 November 2016. Ms. Aydogan was arrested and sent to Silivri prison, Istanbul, where most of the critics of Erdoğan-AKP regime have been imprisoned.

Ms.Aydoğan joined a hearing on 13 January 2017 via SEGBIS (Audio and Video Information System that allows joining a hearing online) at a court in Diyarbakır regarding five different cases filed against her. The cases consist of her actions in 2011: attending a funeral, joining a protest, standing behind a banner that read “Enough, No More Deaths, May Freedom Grow” during a protest, and giving speeches during press conferences. As a result of these actions, Ms. Aydoğan was convicted of “committing crime on behalf of terrorist organization and making propaganda” and “violation of the Law 2911” (which regulates protests and demonstrations). The court sentenced Ms. Aydoğan to 4 years 8 months and 7 days in prison. The prosecutor who had prepared the indictment file is currently under arrest with charges related to the failed coup attempt, while the former chair and members of the court may be suspended soon. Ms. Aydoğan’s lawyers had requested information regarding the latest state of prosecutors and judges in charge of her case. However, the Ministry of Justice did reject this request. Ms. Aydoğan’s conviction was not decided by unanimous vote.Judge Ms. Berna Sacan Turker disagreed with the majority, claiming that the indictment lacked justification and the decision should have been acquittal of Ms. Aydoğan.

This conviction decision is without any doubt a political one that seeks to intimidate and threaten all voices of opposition. Against this unfair decision, the HDP is more determined than ever to maintain its democratic struggle for the peoples of Turkey. 

Hişyar Özsoy
Vice Co-chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Member of Parliament
16 January 2017