Former DEP leader Hatip Dicle has today been released from prison after being imprisoned in April, 2009.
Dicle was arrested as part of the 'KCK operations' that terrorised Kurdish politicians on the 14th of April 2009, two weeks after the BDP had made huge gains in the local elections of 30th of March, 2009. As part of the 'KCK operations', thousands of Kurdish politicians including MP's, mayors, local councillors, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists and trade unionists were imprisoned.
Hatip Dicle has now served a total of 15 years in Turkish prisons. Dicle was first imprisoned in 1994 after being elected to parliament in 1991. He, along with Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak, were released in 2004, serving ten years in prison for voicing Kurdish cultural demands in the Turkish parliament.
Hatip Dicle, however, was once again imprisoned in 2009. In a statement after his release today, Dicle said "I am not happy. Many of my friends are still in prison". There are still thousands of Kurdish political prisoners in prisons across Turkey.