A Turkish prosecutor has demanded a five year prison sentence for a former lawmaker with the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HPD) over his sit-in protest in parliament after being stripped of his deputy status.
HDP lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioglu remained in parliament for four nights to protest against stripping of MP status in March after a Turkish court upheld two and a half-year prison sentence over terrorism propaganda.
The indictment prepared against Gergerlioğlu accuses the Kurdish politician and activist of ‘’illegally undertaking public office’’ and violating the immunity of the workplace,’’ Birgün newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The former lawmaker from the country’s third largest party, was arrested earlier this month after being stripped from his parliamentary status over “terror propaganda” charges on March 17 due to a social media post in 2016 which referred to an article advocating peace talks between Ankara and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The 55-year-old, a vocal critic of Turkey’s human rights abuses, refused to leave parliament after being stripped of his parliamentary status and immunity before being detained by police officers, who were seen dragging him out of the building in video footage shared on social media.
Thousands of HDP members have been tried as part of a years-long crackdown on the party over alleged links to the PKK, an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule for almost four decades.