MARDİN, Turkey (Hurriyet Daily News)—Jailed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş was acquitted on January 19 of charges of “carrying out terror propaganda” in a speech delivered in the southeastern province of Mardin last year amid a curfew in another southeastern town.
Demirtaş, who is currently arrested in jail in the northwestern province of Edirne, was acquitted after a Mardin court ruled that “the offense did not have legal grounds.”
The ruling is the HDP co-chairs first acquittal, but he still faces 102 summaries of proceedings against him including charges of “managing a terrorist organization,” “inciting people to violence and hatred,” and “praising crime and the criminal.”
On January 17 prosecutors demanded up to 142 years in jail for Demirtaş and up to 83 years in jail for Figen Yüksekdağ, the party’s other co-chair.
The terrorist organization that is referred to in the indictments is the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Meanwhile, HDP Batman deputy Ayşe Acar Başaran was detained by Ankara police early on January 20 as part of a probe carried out by prosecutors into her alleged “aid and support of a terror organization.”
The detention came after Başaran declined to give a testimony to the prosecutors of the probe in Batman province.
Başaran was released hours after her detention.