Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Leyla Güven was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison for her statements against the attacks on Afrin and her activities as part of the DTK. Güven has now been taken into custody in Diyarbakır (Amed), Turkey, the Mesopotamia News Agency reports.
Leyla Güven has been taken to the counter-terrorism branch following a medical check and there is a 24-hour detention warrant against her. One of Güven’s lawyers, Şivan Cemil Özen, said Güven has had a Covid-19 test and they are waiting for the result.
Güven is expected to be referred to the courthouse on 23 December. Afterwards she will be sent to prison after the ruling of arrest is pronounced in the court.
“I will continue doing politics inside and outside the prison”, said Leyla Güven during her detainment. “If I had the intention to flee, you would not have noticed it. I am not going anywhere. I will continue doing politics in this country, inside or outside… It takes courage to walk in the face of the tyrant like this”.
After the announcement of the decision a campaign was launched on Twitter with the hashtag #LeylaGüvenOnurumuzdur (Leyla Güven is our Honour).
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has also published a written statement criticising the court’s decision: “This hostile decision is not only against Leyla Güven, not only against the DTK, but also against all the Kurds and the entire opposition”. The statement outlined Güven’s dedication to peace and said she is “a monument to honour and we do not recognise this
“Ben kaçacak olsam sizin ruhunuz bile duymazdı. Hiçbir yere gitmiyorum. Bu ülkede siyaset yapmaya devam edeceğim. Ama içeride ama dışarıda.”
— HDP (@HDPgenelmerkezi) December 21, 2020
The hearing of the case of Leyla Güven, which consists of combined indictments and 18 separate charges, was held at the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court on 21 December. Güven did not attend the hearing, but her lawyers Serdar Çelebi and Cemile Turhallı Balsak were present.
The prosecutor demanded that Güven be penalised for “establishing and managing an organisation”, “being a member of an organisation”, “provoking the public to a meeting and a demonstration against the law”, and “participating in illegal marches”. Güven was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison.