Germany intensifies investigations into outlawed Kurdish organization

Hanover - Germany has greatly increased the number of investigations into suspected supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The number of preliminary proceeding launched against suspects has increased from 15 in 2013 to 130 in 2017, a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office told dpa on Wednesday.
And while in 2014 and 2015 there were more than 20 trials each year for membership or support of the PKK, in 2016 the number doubled to 40, the spokesman said.
The spokesman did not specify how often the cases resulted in sentencing for those accused.
Turkey, where the armed PKK is active after a peace process with the government fell apart in 2015, has often accused Germany of being soft on the Kurdish militia and has demanded more forceful action from the authorities in Berlin.
Germany outlawed the organization in 1993 and has placed people on trial for membership and support of the PKK since then.
The latest trial starts on Wednesday in the upper regional court in the northern city of Celle, where a 43-year-old Turkish national faces charges of being a regional representative of the PKK for the city of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony.
The man is also accused of being linked to the planning and execution of travel to northern Iraq and the recruitment of PKK fighters.
If found guilty of supporting a terrorist organization, the man could face up to 10 years in prison.

Wednesday, January 17th 2018

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