Free again: Veteran Kurd politician Hatip Dicle is released from Turkish jail


Hatip Dicle ouside Amed prison yesterday with local co-mayor Fırat Anli

KT News:

Hatip Dicle and Hüsamettin Çiçek, two prominent Kurdish politicians jailed for almost 5 years as part of the Turkish state’s KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) prosecutions, were set free yesterday.

Hatip Dicle was a leading member of now-defunct DEP (Democracy Party), which was banned in 1994. Hüsamettin Çiçek is former deputy mayor of the Bağlar district of Diyarbakır.

Dicle was elected to parliament in 2011 with the backing of the pro-Kurd BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) but he was barred from becoming a deputy by the Supreme Election Board.

At the prison gates yesterday, the Chamber of Medical Doctors in Diyarbakır presented Hatip Dicle with a Peace, Friendship and Democracy award.

He declared: “It’s strange that I was also released 10 years ago on a June day. On that day 10 years ago I had hoped no more Kurdish politicians would go to prison on account of their opinions.”

Hatip Dicle previously served 10 years in jail, from 1994 to 2004, after he was detained with MPs Leyla Zana, the late Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak.

33 defendants in the KCK trial remain in custody and a court ruling on their status is expected soon. Last month, 10 other KCK trial defendants were released.

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