Turkey: Lawmaker Imprisoned on Terror Charge Released

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s pro-Kurdish political party has announced the release from prison of one of its lawmakers pending a trial on terror charges.

Ayhan Bilgen, a former spokesman for the People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, was released Friday, according to the party’s current spokesman, Osman Baydemir.

State-run Anadolu news agency says Bilgen faces up to 23 years in prison for three separate crimes after being detained in January for alleged membership in a terror organization.

Following Bilgen’s release, nine HDP legislators, including the party’s co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksedag, remain in Turkish prisons, the party’s press office said.

The Turkish government accuses the party of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The HDP denies the accusation.

Turkey and its Western allies consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

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