Jailed Kurdish ex-MP, eight others, under investigation over Kurdish music

An imprisoned former lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is under investigation, along with eight other inmates, by the directorate of a prison in Turkey's southeast over Kurdish music, Duvar news site reported on Sunday.

Leyla Güven, former  co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and former mayor of the municipality of Viranşehir inthe Şanlıurfa,and eight other women, who are behind bars in Elazığ prison, are facing a probe for singing in Kurdish, Duvar said.

Güven, who was stripped of her parliamentary status in June 2020, was sentenced in December to 22 years and three months in prison for membership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and two counts of terrorist propaganda. 

The PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union, has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades. Ankara accuses the HDP of acting in the interest of and harbouring sympathy for the PKK, a charge the party denies. 

Güven and the other inmates “danced to and sang in an inapparent language,’’ the official report filed against the women said. 

The inmates were given three days to file their verbal or written defence, Duvar said. 

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