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Politician facing 10 years in jail for "pro-Kurdish propaganda"

UPDATE: Court acquits BDP politician Hatip Dicle (BIANET, 19 June 2012)

(BIANET/IFEX) - 07 October 2011 - Hatip Dicle from the Labour, Peace and Democracy Block is facing prison sentences of a total of 10 years on charges related to a book he wrote in 2008 and a speech he made in 2009. Dicle was elected as a deputy for Diyarbakır in the general election on 12 June 2011 but the Supreme Election Board (YSK) decided to deprive him of his right to deputyship shortly afterwards.

In this trial, Dicle is being tried on the grounds of what he wrote in the book "Judged by Defendants" in 2008 and a speech he delivered at a meeting of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in 2009. His case is being handled by the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court.

Dicle attended the 6 October hearing with his lawyer. The prosecutor stated in his final speech that Dicle had created propaganda for the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) by calling PKK members 'guerrillas' in his book, which was published by Aram Publishing. The prosecutor asked for a prison sentence of five years for this charge.

Moreover, the prosecutor claimed that Dicle committed the same offence in a speech he made as the elected Co-chair of the DTK. Therefore, he recommended an additional sentence of another five years' imprisonment. Consequently, Dicle is now facing prison terms of up to 10 years in total. The trial was postponed to allow the defendant's lawyers additional time to prepare the defence.

Dicle has been imprisoned since 2009 following a previous trial related to the KCK/TM (Turkish Assembly).

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