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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Former Kurdish MP Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison

By VOA News December 21, 2020

A Turkish court in the southeastern Kurdish city of Diyarbakir sentenced a former member of parliament Monday to more than 22 years in prison on terror-related charges.

The court also issued an arrest warrant against Leyla Güven, 55, a former lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

The prosecutor in the case charged Güven with "establishing and managing an illegal organization" of which she was also a member in support of outlawed Kurdish militants, among 18 separate charges.

Other charges included "provoking the public to join illegal meetings and demonstrations," and participating in "illegal" marches, which she refused to disband despite warnings.

Güven was arrested in January 2018 after criticizing the Turkish military for its operation against a Syrian Kurdish militia group that Ankara has linked with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

She went on hunger strike in November of that year that lasted 11 weeks to protest the prison conditions of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

In January 2019, a Turkish court ordered her supervised release after her health seriously deteriorated.

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