Leyla Guven, former Peoples’ Democratic Party MP (HDP) and co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), has been sentenced to 22 years and 3 months in prison under the pretext of “establishing and leading a terrorist organisation.”
The ruling AKP accuse all progressive democratic opposition of terrorism as a means of silencing and suppressing growing dissent, and the imprisonment of Leyla Guven, prominent female politician is unacceptable. There has been an outcry by progressive organisations, political parties and democracy campaigners against the sentence and detention of Guven in Turkey. As SPOT we call for Leyla Guven’s immediate release.
Leyla is known for her hunger strike over 200 days, calling for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. She ended the strike in May 2019, following Ocalan’s meeting with his lawyers.
She was arrested in 2009 as part of a large crack-down against Kurdish politicians and was released in 2014. She was also imprisoned for a year in 2018 for calling the Turkish military operation against Syrian Kurdish militia an “invasion.”
She was stripped of parliamentary immunity June this year due to another prison sentence she had received. Yesterday, while police were taking her into custody from her home in Diyarbakır, Guven said that “If I were to escape, you won’t even notice whatsoever. I am not going anywhere. Whether inside or outside, I will continue to do politics.”
In a statement, HDP said:
“Leyla Guven is the will of the people. Her resistance and struggle have been an inspiration to the people of the world. (…) This hostile decision is not only against Leyla Guven, not only against the DTK, but also against all the Kurds and the entire opposition. (…) Neither Leyla Guven nor we will give up the struggle because of punishments and arrests.”