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Turkey’s Court of Cassation on Friday upheld the two-and-a-half-year prison sentence given to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and MP belonging to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, on charges of making propaganda for a terrorist organisation.
In 2016, Gergerlioğlu raised alarm in parliament and on social media platforms about women being subjected to unlawful strip searches by the Uşak Police for security reasons.
He was later accused by several members of the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Uşak Police of being involved in terrorist activities.
Gergerlioğlu was initially sentenced by the Kocaeli 2nd High Criminal Court in February 2018, and the decision was subsequently affirmed by the 3rd Criminal Department of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice on appeal.
Following this, an appeal was made before the Court of Cassation.
Gergerlioğlu argued that MPs receive immunity from arbitrary and unfounded criminal prosecutions and arrests under the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Turkish Constitution.
The court ruled that the investigation against Gergerlioğlu began before he was elected as a deputy, and as a result immunity from prosecution cannot be afforded in the current case.