The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) stripped pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Şırnak deputy Ferhat Encü of his parliamentary status on Tuesday.

TMMB’s decision came in the wake of Encü’s prison sentence was upheld by an appeal court.

Encu has been recently convicted of making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization and sentenced to nearly 4 years in jail.

The number of HDP deputies in the parliament dropped from 59 to 52 with Encu’s removal.

The government has recently intensified pressure against the Kurdish minority in the country. While Kurdish majority cities were turned upside down with consecutive military attacks, hundreds of Kurdish politicians were jailed. Hundreds of academics, teachers were also rounded up over broadened terror charges.

HDP deputies Figen Yüksekdağ, Nursel Aydoğan, Besime Konca, Faysal Sarıyıldız, Leyla Zana and Tuğba Hezer Öztürk were earlier stripped of their parliamentary status.

The following nine HDP deputies are currently being held behind bars:  Selahattin Demirtaş, Figen Yüksekdağ, İdris Baluken, Selma Irmak, Gülser Yıldırım, Ferhat Encü, Abdullah Zeydan, Çağlar Demirel and Burcu Çelik.

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