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Turkish prosecutors demand 142 year jail term for Kurdish leader

Turkish prosecutors demand 142 year jail term for Kurdish leader
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By Christopher Cummins with Agencies
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Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtas faces 142 years in jail

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Prosecutors in Turkey have called for a 142 year jail term for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party co-leader, Selahattin Demirtas, on charges of links to Kurdish militants.

His co-leader Figen Yuksekdag faces 83 years.

#HDP co-chairs hdpdemirtas</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/FigenYuksekdag">FigenYuksekdag face sentences of 142 years and 83 years.#FreeKurds in #Turkey#TwitterKurdspic.twitter.com/wr6etbVgu9

— Baxtiyar Goran (@BaxtiyarGoran) January 17, 2017

Demirtas was taken into custody in November along with nine other HDP MPs.

The ten are accused of contact with and membership of the outlawed “Kurdistan Workers’ Party’‘:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdistan_Workers’_Party (PKK),
which has been engaged in armed insurrection against the Turkish state since 1984.

#Turkey Kurd leader risks up to 142 years in jail#SelahattinDemirtashttps://t.co/SXNwFAVArfpic.twitter.com/OZqRHiQ60O

— Gulf-Times (@GulfTimes_QATAR) January 17, 2017

All the defendants deny links with the PKK and claim the cases are politically motivated.

Demirtas says he is being hounded because he opposes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s drive to change the constitution, handing more power to the presidency.

Peace talks between the PKK and the Turkish state broke down in 2015 amid claims the Kurdish group was rearming.

As many as 40,000 people have lost their lives in three decades of fighting.

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