Turkey: Former deputy denied release despite being jailed longer than maximum prison time

Turkey: Former deputy denied release despite being jailed longer than maximum prison time
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Gulser Yildirim's lawyer has said she has already been jailed three months longer than she would serve even if her conviction was upheld by the court of appeal.

A former deputy of the Turkish Grand Assembly whose parliamentary immunity was lifted in 2016 and who was arrested in November 2016 is denied release although she has been in custody longer than she would serve in prison even if her conviction had been upheld by the high court of appeal, Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported.

Gulser Yildirim was arrested over "terror" charges when she was serving as Mardin deputy for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), and was subsequently sentenced to a prison term of seven years and six months by a Turkish court on charge of "being a member of an illegal organization."

While the court ruling is yet to be reviewed by Turkey's Court of Cassation, Yildirim would serve a maximum time of five years seven months and 16 days even if the Court did uphold the ruling.

She has already been incarcerated a further three months, MA said, citing Yildirim's lawyer Azad Yildirim.

The lawyer said:

"My client is being kept in prison lawlessly while the Court of Cassation has closed its ears to our petitions. There is no other order of arrest on any other charge issued for Gulser Yildirim."

He added that a house arrest had earlier been issued by another Turkish court in the "Kobani Case," in which many senior officials of the HDP, including former co-chairs, are accused of inciting violence in the context of 2014 Kobani demonstrations, held in protest against Turkey's policy to isolate the northern Syrian city of Kobani -adjacent to Turkey's border district of Suruc- that was besieged by the Islamic State (ISIS) at the time.

The house arrest order was issued when Gulser Yildirim was in custody.