Sırrı Süreyya Önder in Prison

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People's Democratic Party (HDP) former Ankara MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, whose 42-month prison sentence was upheld by the 2nd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice on December 3, went to prison in the province of Kocaeli today (December 6).

Talking to the journalists before entering the Kandıra No 1 Type-F Prison, Önder said, "We stand behind whatever we said. Salute to all friends. Peace and democracy will win."

'Good days are coming soon'

Önder also made a written statement, which has been released by HDP:

"We are going through such days which are not surprising for those who are making efforts for peace and democracy. This well of war and vulgarity is not as deep as it is thought to be. Although what have been lived through seems gloomy, good days for whole country are coming soon.

"Our tradition have countless examples of making the most out of what we have. Every word we say, every effort we make are our honors. If necessary, paying price is, too... I salute all friends with feelings of peace and solidarity."

What happened?

In the case HDP's former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and former MP Önder were being tried for "propagandizing for a terror organization", the court announced its verdict on September 8. The two politicians were sentenced to 56 and 43 months in prison respectively, because of the speeches that they made on Newroz Day in 2013, at a time when the Turkish government was running a "resolution process" to the Kurdish question.

Attorneys of Demirtaş and Önder appealed against the ruling. The verdict reached to the 2nd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice, which is operating as a court of appeal, on October 25.

After the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced on November 16 that it will pronounce its verdict on Demirtaş's appeal against his arrest on November 20, the court of appeal in İstanbul began preliminary evaluation on the case of Demirtaş and Önder on November 19.

On November 20, the ECtHR gave its verdict, stating Demirtaş should be immediately released. On December 4, the İstanbul court of appeal upheld the prison sentences given to Demirtaş and Önder. (AS/VK)


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