Prosecutor seeks up to 225 years of prison for jailed HDP co-chairs

Selahattin Demirats (left) and Figen Yuksekdag have been in custody since last November.

Co-chairs of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag are facing up to 142 and 83 years imprisonment respectively, state-run news agency reported on Tuesday.

Anadolu Agency reported that the charges included disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state and spreading terrorist propaganda.

The government as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have accused the HDP – Turkey’s third-largest party – of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Demirtas, who ran against Erdogan in the 2014 presidential elections, and the HDP deny the accusations denouncing them as political.

Last year, parliament stripped HDP legislators of their legal immunity which paved the way for the arrests in November – Demirtas and Yuksekdag are among the 11 HDP MPs that remain in custody awaiting trial.