Turkish court sentences Kurdish ex-MP Leyla Guven to 22 years in prison

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a prominent Kurdish former lawmaker who went on a months-long hunger strike to more than 22 years in jail on terror-related charges.

Leyla Guven, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker along with two other opposition lawmakers, lost her status in June after a conviction was finalised in a separate trial that ruled she was a member of a terrorist organisation.

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Leyla Guven, 56, launched a 200-day hunger strike in 2018 in a bid to end jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation by securing him access to his family and lawyers.

Ocalan was allowed to meet his brother Mehmet for the first time in more than two years on January 12 last year, but details of the meeting was not been made public.

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Guven was in custody on separate charges when she launched her hunger strike.

She was freed under judicial control last year after serving a one-year term for labelling the Turkish military operation against a Syrian Kurdish militia an “invasion.”

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The government accuses the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which the party denies.

Guven’s daughter Sabiha Temizkan said her mother was convicted for her work with the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a civil society group which has not been banned by the Turkish state but remains under close scrutiny.

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In a tweet, Temizkan called the Turkish government “the enemy of the law.”

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