A Turkish court holds the first hearing in the trial against Selahattin Demirtas, former head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and 107 others over charges related to protests in the mainly Kurdish southeast in 2014. Party members have been imprisoned, including former MPs and mayors and the party’s former co-chairs. The indictment calls for 38 counts of life sentences without parole against all defendants in relation to the 2014 protests. The protests began over accusations the army stood by as ISIL fighters besieged the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, in plain view just across the Turkish border.
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