Jailed Kurdish leader in Turkey sent to hospital for tests

International

ISTANBUL (AP) — The jailed ex-leader of a Kurdish party in Turkey has been sent to hospital for examinations, authorities said Monday, shortly after the politician’s lawyer said he suffered chest pains and lost consciousness in prison last week.

Selahattin Demirtas, 46, has been in prison for more than three years, facing terror charges.

Lawyer Aygul Demirtas — who is also the politician’s sister — tweeted Monday that Demirtas lost consciousness for some time. He received an electrocardiogram but had still not been sent to a fully equipped hospital despite the prison doctor’s recommendation, she said.

The prosecutor’s office later said in a statement that Demirtas was examined by doctors who arrived after the prison called emergency services and did not identify any health problems. The statement said he was dispatched to a hospital Monday for a more detailed examination.

The politician’s Peoples’ Democratic Party, Turkey’s second-largest opposition party, called on the government to explain and demanded he be taken to the hospital.

The Turkish government accuses the party of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has waged a decades-long insurgency. It has cracked down on the party, arresting lawmakers and party members.

Demirtas faces up to 142 years in jail with several cases against him. He denies the charges.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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