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Turkey: Kurdish politician’s conviction over speech upheld

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish appeals court has upheld the terror propaganda conviction of the former head of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party.

Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said Tuesday the appeals court unanimously voted to finalize a September verdict against Selahattin Demirtas. The former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for a 2013 speech that the court deemed was in support of outlawed Kurdish militants.

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights said Turkey violated Demirtas’ rights to a speedy trial and free elections and ordered Turkey to free him after more than two years in pre-trial detention. A Turkish court rejected his application for his release.

Former legislator Sirri Sureyya Onder’s conviction on the same charge and three-year prison sentence were also upheld.

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