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A Turkish court on Friday evening decided to keep the Kurdish opposition leader in custody despite reports that she suffers from dementia, her lawyer confirmed to AFP on Saturday.

Prior to her arrest in 2016, Aysel Toghluq, 57, was HDP vice president and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 for “belonging to a terrorist organization.”

Despite the decision to release her in connection with another case, the Ankara court, to which the case was referred, decided to keep her detention in the case in which she was convicted in 2018, although she “does not realize what is happening around her “. “, – confirmed her lawyer Serdar Chelebi.

“The judges saw with their own eyes that Ms. Togluk did not understand the questions asked of her and could not present a defense. They refused to consider our messages and took her to the hospital,” the lawyer said.

Tughluq, who has been diagnosed with dementia since 2021, was detained for her activities in the Democratic Society Conference, an organization that Turkish authorities believe is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara and its Western allies have called a “terrorist” movement.

At Monday’s hearing, she said: “I don’t know why I’m being persecuted or what happened, where and when,” Turkish media reported.

Tuglo lost her mother in 2017, and although she was allowed to attend the funeral, it was canceled due to threats from nationalist groups.

According to her loved ones, her dementia is related to this painful stage.

Although the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the government agency responsible for issuing official health reports on detainees, acknowledged her health, in July it was considered that she could remain in prison.

Her lawyer warned that “authorities believe that Ms. Toghluq is being treated because she is taking medication. But her illness worsens during her detention.”

Pro-Kurdish circles, especially the HDP, have been subjected to severe repression in Turkey for several years.

Authorities accuse the party of being a “political front” for the PKK, which it denies, saying it was targeted because of its fierce opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Selahattin Demirtas, the former head of the HDP, has been in detention since November 2016 on charges of “terrorism”.

Turkey continues to detain Kurdish opposition leader despite dementia

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