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Jailed Kurdish politician dies after 6 years of imprisonment

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A Kurdish politician who had been behind bars on terrorism charges for six years has died after being taken to a hospital from a prison in northern Turkey, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Mehmet Candemir, a former party council member of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), died at a hospital in the Black Sea province of Giresun on Sunday.

Officials from Giresun Prison, where Candemir had been jailed since June 2016, called his family, who lives in the eastern province of Batman, on Monday morning to inform them about the politician’s death. The family was told that Candemir died of a heart attack.

Candemir’s brother, Ahmet Candemir, told Mezopotamya that his brother called his family from prison on Friday and did not talk about any problems related to his health.

Candemir, who was detained on charges of terrorist organization membership and aiding an abetting a terrorist organization in July 2016, was handed down a prison sentence of 17 years, six months by a Turkish court in January 2021.

Hundreds of Kurdish politicians including the former co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the second largest opposition party in the Turkish Parliament, are behind bars in Turkey on politically motivated charges.

They are accused of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody campaign in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984 and is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

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