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Committee Passes Bill Aimed At Stripping Immunity Of Turkish Deputies

A Turkish parliamentary committee has approved a bill that would strip deputies of immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for a constitutional amendment that would allow terrorism charges to be filed against deputies from the pro-Kurdish opposition.

Committee approval of the bill late on May 2 came hours after the meeting descended into chaos with lawmakers punching each other and throwing bottles of water.

The bill was prepared after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) of being an arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party.

Erdogan has repeatedly called for HDP lawmakers to be prosecuted.

Deputies from the pro-Kurdish party walked out of the committee meeting after the brawl.

One lawmaker suffered a dislocated shoulder.

Passage of the draft as a constitutional amendment requires support from two thirds of the 550 deputies in Turkey's parliament -- a total of at least 363 votes.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP