Turkish authorities file lawsuit against Kurdish mayor Selçuk Mızraklı

Turkish prosecutors charged imprisoned former mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Selçuk Mızraklı, with making terrorism propaganda, the Bianet news website said on Thursday.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office charged Mızraklı with terrorist propaganda for participating in an event organised by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), staging a three-day hunger strike in support of Leyla Güven, a deputy for the HDP, and a tweet he posted in support of Kurdish activist, Ramin Hossein, who was executed in Iran, Bianet said.

Mızraklı was removed from office on Aug. 19 alongside two other HDP mayors accused of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for more than three decades. The HDP mayor was arrested on Oct. 22 and has been in prison since then.

Authorities have replaced dozens of HDP mayors over links to the PKK since the March 31 local elections last year. The government has long accused the pro-Kurdish HDP of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the PKK.