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High court orders Treasury to pay HDP deputy TL 20,000 over flawed ruling

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court ordered the Treasury to pay TL 20,000 ($5,000) to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Meral Danış Beştaş for a lower court ruling that violated her right to liberty and security by imprisoning her for three months, the T24 news website reported on Wednesday.

Beştaş was arrested by the Diyarbakır 5th Penal Court of Peace on Jan. 30, 2017 on charges of attending a party executive board meeting that called for public demonstrations after the Syrian town of Kobani was besieged by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

She was released pending trial on April 21, 2017.

In reaction to ISIL’s efforts to occupy the town, several Twitter accounts belonging to HDP officials called on people to protest in the streets, which later morphed into fierce clashes between pro and anti-Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) groups in which 53 people were killed.

Turkish authorities believe HDP executive board members attending the meeting and calling on people to demonstrate were responsible for the deaths.

The Constitutional Court, however, said in its decision that although Beştaş was an executive board member, the local court failed to prove that she had voted in favor of the street protests.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during a recent presidential election campaign, also repeatedly accused the HDP’s jailed former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş of causing the 53 deaths in the Kobani protests.

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