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Open letter to Raab demands release of HDP MP from Turkish prison

CAMPAIGNERS, trade unionists and MPs have signed an open letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to demand the release of a former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP from a Turkish prison. 

Leyla Guven was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison by a Turkish court on Monday under numerous charges, including the management of a terrorist organisation – relating to her role as the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK)

DTK, a coalition of Kurdish organisations, was recognised by the European Court of Human Rights as a legal organisation on Tuesday, and it ruled that participation cannot be considered as evidence of involvement in terrorist organisations. 

The letter from Peace in Kurdistan was signed by author Naom Chomsky, MP Jeremy Corbyn, Stop the War Coalition’s Linday German, Unite international director Simon Dubbins and many others. 

It urged Mr Raab to use his influence with Turkey to secure Ms Guven’s immediate release and to raise concerns over the “ongoing clampdown on democracy” in Turkey. 

“Turkey must be reminded of its obligations to abide by international law and the decisions of institutions including the European Court of Human Rights,” the letter concluded.

“Britain must ensure that basic and fundamental rights are upheld by Turkey and consider what course of action to take if it fails to do so.”


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